Cantoria by Luca della Robbia Frieze with Dancing
Cantoria by Luca della Robbia Frieze with Dancing In 1431 Luca della Robbia was commissioned to design a marble Cantoria over the door of the Sacristy of the Masses, also known as the New Sacristy. Two years after Luca della Robbia began the cantoria, Donatello was commissioned to design another Cantoria to be placed over the Old or Canons' Sacristy to form a counterpart to that sculpted by Robbia. Both of these singing galleries were dismantled, only to be reconstructed in the Duomo Museum. Luca's cantoria as a whole is a complete reconstruction with copies in the panels. The actual panels are now installed below the cantoria, making viewing much easier. The photographs below of individual panels are of the original panels. The upper part resembles a Roman sarcophagus supported by consoles. The architectural frame isolates four reliefs on the front and one on each end. Between the consoles there are four additional reliefs, though somewhat in shadow--less so now when separated from the whole structure. In general, Luca's figures are more polished and more highly finished than those in Donatello's cantoria.
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