Della Robbia is a family of Italian sculptors, specialized in the technique of polychrome glazed earthenware invented by Luca, who opened a profitable shop in Florence.
The name derives from a reddish red dye, so it is thought that the family, documented from the 13th century in the city, was a family belonging to the Arte dei Tintori. The Florentine glazed majolica traditionally also today is called Robbia.
Its most famous components are:
Luca (di Simone) della Robbia (1400 circa -1482), began his career as a sculptor alongside Donatello, later discovered the technique to create polychrome sculptures (actually only blue and white or ivory) using glazed earthenware; he successfully developed this technique and dedicated himself exclusively to it by abandoning sculpture; his workshop was very active and passed on the technique to relatives ensuring success for the family for generations.
Andrea della Robbia (1435-1525) Luca's nephew, or son of his brother Marco, developed the technique learned by his uncle and led it to a very wide spread, thanks to some innovations that created a proto-industrial laboratory, thanks to the remarkable efficiency and the relative speed of creation of the works.
Giovanni della Robbia (1469-1529) son of Andrea, he experimented with the technique expanding the number of available colors and using them with greater emphasis. His works are of great technical and artistic skill, but compared to their predecessors they are a little flatter and in a style that has now become conventional. When he disappeared, the family shop found no valid heirs and ceased business.