European Terrracottas from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections

European Terrracottas from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections
James David Draper, Ellen Shultz, "European Terrracottas from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections"
1981 | pages: 33 | ISBN: 0870992651 | PDF | 1,4 mb

Modeling with clay is an indispensable activity of most sculptors. Fortunately, artists throughout history have given their clay sculptures longer life by firing them in kilns. The Italian words œterra cotta, which mean, literally, œbaked earth, are usually used to designate the strengthened material that results from the firing process. But the material is durable only to a point, and it needs thoughtful protection. The terracotta altarpieces that must have filled the churches of fifteenth-century Padua, for example, have not survived in great number (see nos. 1, 2, 4, 5). On the other hand, techniques of glazing developed by the della Robbia family in Florence did much to preserve the surfaces of terracotta sculptures placed out of doors in Tuscany. The Florentine production of terracotta statuettes for private devotion is fairly well known through scattered examples that escaped destruction because of their small size and their importance to the life of the households to which they belonged.


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