THE VISITATION by Luca della Robbia
by Luca della Robbia
Exposed in the Church of San Leone in Pistoia
July 22nd, 2017 – January 7th, 2018
Visited by Fabio Bardelli. Photo: Qui News Pistoia and Discover Pistoia.
PISTOIA/ITALY: Two restorations in one exhibition: after the one (few months ago) of the small central Church of San Leone in Pistoia also the famous Visitation was brought back to its ancient splendor.
It is a work of glasswork terracotta that Luca della Robbia realized towards 1445 for the Church of San Giovanni Fuorcivitas in Pistoia, and located only temporary in San Leone, next january it will return to its natural historical site.
Great is the emotion of the visitor who, in the dim light of the baroque church decorated with paintings of vivid colors, notices the blinding whiteness of the Robbian opera, with the young pregnant Virgin Mary characterized by the perfect oval of the face and her old cousin Elisabetta also in pregnancy thrown at her feet.
Two different psychologies made with supreme mastery by the author, perfectly highlighted in this great artwork that in recent months, immediately after its restoration, was part of exhibitions in the United States in Boston and Washington.
“Container” of this statue for this provisory exibition is the Church of San Leone, one of the most beautiful churches in Pistoia, entirely painted with fantasies of clouds, statues and angels in the 18th Century by Florentine Vincenzo Meucci and his students.
Among others Lodovico Giustini (1685-1743), a priest and musician from Pistoia, was buried in this church. He is a very important musician being the first composer to write in 1732 some Sonatas expressly for “cimbalo di piano e forte detto volgarmente di martelletti” (that is for “cymbal with piano and forte commonly said with the little hammers”) that is the ancestor of today’s piano.
Unfortunately the valuable organ of the Church is in poor condition, only a few parts remain (the wooden case and little more) of this instrument that has been heavily affected by the passing of the centuries.