This work in marble was sculpted Luca della Robbia between 1431 and 1438, and was destined for the choir of the Cathedral of Santa María de las Flores . It forms a pair with another contemporary song performed by Donatello. Both can be seen at the Museum of the Opera del Duomo in Florence, to compare the style of both sculptors of the Italian Renaissance. Although originally both one and the other were conceived to be placed at the entrance doors to the New Sacristy of the Florentine Cathedral.
Cantoria de Luca della Robbia
Looking at both creations at the same time, it can be seen that theCantoria by Della Robbiagives a greater sense of stillness and is more sober in his sculptures. Della Robbia poses the entire set of figures with a very classical serenity, especially in their composition, and pays great attention to each and every one of the details. Some details that can be seen in each of the characters' gestures, in such a way that he manages to provide them with an enormous naturalism.
In both the theme transcribes a very important festive element in those years of the Renaissance: music. Although it is true that the version of Della Robbia can be considered very lively but at the same time more modest than Donatello's. However, they are some scenes in which he manages to transmit thereality of those traditions but somehow idealize them.
The whole set is presented in a perfect and harmonic order, without any shrillness. In other words, the immediate referent is the classical sculpture. And not only that, even to increase that air of Antiquity, he gets to dress the children of that choir in ancient clothes.
It can also be seen that the sculptor, much more than capturing the movement of these infants or their expressions and gestures, in reality what he seeks is to represent the grace of these boys.
To compose the whole set, the artist was inspired by the Last Psalm of David, whose verses can still be read at the base of the Cantoría. His message is the most religious, since with them he invites us to love God, both with joy and with song. A tone that evidently prevails in the representation of all the figures.
Taking advantage of the presence of this work by Della Robbia at theMuseo della Opera del Duomo, other creations quite different from him can also be seen there. Among them, various hexagonal medallions made of glazed terracotta to be placed in the neighboring Campanile of the Cathedral, and with which the series started by Andrea Pisano. was to end.