Dovizia (Plenty)

Dovizia (Plenty)

c. 1520-1529

Giovanni della Robbia

(Italian, 1469-1529/30)

Glazed terracotta

Overall: 110.2 cm (43 3/8 in.)

Gift of S. Livingstone Mather, Constance Mather Bishop, Philip R. Mather, Katherine Hoyt Cross, and Katherine Mather McLean in accordance with the wishes of Samuel Mather 1940.343

Description

Many elite Florentine Renaissance homes had sculptures of idealized young women carrying nature’s bounty, such as this work. The motif stems from a statue by Donatello (about 1386-1466) that towered over Florence’s main public market. At home, however, the sculpture became a talisman for the family’s well-being. Worry about the low birth rate was a serious political matter in Florence, so the sculpture would have stimulated fertility and promoted motherhood, but it also promoted financial success.

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