Analysis of Virgin and Child with Lilies by Luca Della Robbia

2353 Words Feb 17th, 2013 10 Pages
Yun Zhang
Renaissance Art in Context
Dec.13th. 2012
FA231 Professor Stephanie Leone

Virgin and child with lilies
Italian (Florence)
about 1460–70
Luca della Robbia 


Overall: 48 x 38cm (18 7/8 x 14 15/16in.)

Glazed terracotta 


Classification: Sculpture


Type: Relief


Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Virgin and child with lilies
Italian (Florence)
about 1460–70
Luca della Robbia 


Overall: 48 x 38cm (18 7/8 x 14 15/16in.)

Glazed terracotta 


Classification: Sculpture


Type: Relief


Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

In this artwork attributed to Luca della Robbia made in 1460-70, Virgin and Child with lilies depicts Mary as the mother of God, instead of the queen in heaven, and emphasized the maternal
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Three angels in the sky blessing the child emerged from the cloud. Their clothes naturally follow their motion and the wind. However, I find faces of Virgin and the three angels are quite identical, which their facial features and hairstyle are basically the same. However, in general, the beauty of the figures, the modeling of faces and the sweet sentiment of the piece all convey a message of purity, perfection and vigorous in a background of nature.
In this Virgin and Child with lilies, there are also several symbols, such as the lilies, gardens and angels, which convey the purity and virgin status of a humble Mary and contribute to its devotional purpose. The relief was set up in a garden, which according to Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art, “the image of the garden itself is drawn from the Song of Songs where the “hortus conclusus”, the “enclosed garden (4:12) was made to stand for Mary’s Virginity.” In this pure enclosed garden, we also see lily as a main object in the composition, which Christ the child is leaning towards the lilies and firmly grasping the stem. As stated in Signs and symbols in Christian Art by George Ferguson, lily of the valley is one of the first flowers of the year that “announces the return of spring”. For this reason, it has become a symbol of the “Advent of Christ”. The whiteness of its flowers and the sweetness of its scents also made lily a symbol of the

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