George Mason University Plaster Cast Collection
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Cast no.58

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Cast no.58


Part of a relief by Luca Della Robbia.
In the Duomo (Cathedral) of Florence.
Florence, Duomo, choir loft.
H 42 in., W 39 in.
Gift to George Mason University from an anonymous donor.
Cast Location: College Hall ground floor

The choir loft or cantoria for the Duomo in Florence is the earliest known work by the sculptor Luca della Robbia. This cantoria was never intended to hold a choir, but was designed by Della Robbia as an organ loft for the Chapel of St. Zenobius, the patron saint of Florence. A second loft was designed by Donatello. Both of them are now in the Museum of the Opere del Duomo. Luca della Robbia designed eleven carved panels depicting Psalm 150. The panel reproduced in this cast shows children in celebration. Three boys at the left play trumpets - traditionally associated with festivals - and two of them wear laurel wreaths, suggesting that they have won prizes for music. Four little girls dancing beneath the trumpets may be derived from classical representations of maenads or bacchants and would have been recognized as such during the fifteenth century. On the right, three more boys holding recorders watch the others.

~Ashley Simpson

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