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Gallery Talks
Fifteenth-Century Florentine and Tuscan Sculpture in the National Gallery of Art

October 8, 15, 18, 22 at 2:00
(60 minutes)
West Building Lecture Hall
David Gariff

Watch the October 22 lecture here.

Italian sculpture of the 15th century in Florence and Tuscany departed from the elegant, decorative style of the earlier Gothic period to reflect a greater admiration for, and understanding of, the strength and structure of the human body. In this respect, Renaissance sculptors emulated the ideals of the ancient Greeks and Romans when depicting contemporary or Christian subjects. Sculptors like Donatello, Desiderio da Settignano, Bernardo and Antonio Rossellino, Luca and Andrea della Robbia, and Verrocchio revived a classical interest in the human body depicted in full-length figures demonstrating a naturalism and ease of movement. Relief sculptures explored new effects of light, space, and atmosphere. Displaying a variety of materials including marble, bronze, wood, terracotta, and ceramic; and a range of processes from carving to modeling to casting; 15th-century Florentine sculpture served a variety of secular and religious purposes. In this lecture, David Gariff presents an overview of the Gallery’s 15th-century Florentine and Tuscan sculpture collection as context for a better understanding of the Verrocchio exhibition now on view.

Florentine 15th Century, Florentine 16th Century, Andrea del Verrocchio, Orsino Benintendi, Lorenzo de' Medici, 1478/1521, painted terracotta, Samuel H. Kress Collection, 1943.4.92

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