Sculpture Journal

G. F. Watts's della Robbia tondo

Sculpture Journal (2013), 22, (1), 133–137.

Abstract

Photographs and a painting show a della Robbia tondo in a ‘bower’ attached to Limnerslease, the Surrey home of the Victorian artist and sculptor G. F. Watts. The ceramic disappeared around the time of the death of the artist's widow, Mary Seton Watts, in 1938, and it has not been possible to examine it to find out if it was an original Renaissance Florentine example, or a reproduction. This article estimates the probable date of the gift to Watts, and identifies a possible donor, before revealing that the original design was not by della Robbia but by Santi Buglioni. Three surviving sixteenth-century versions have been traced, and the company which manufactured replicas at the time when Watts was given his tondo. Until it is located and examined, the date and place of manufacture can only be conjecture.

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Author details

Boreham, Louise