‘Make a Joyful Noise’: Renaissance Art and Music from Florence Cathedral opens today at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. It will feature three relief panels from Luca Della Robbia’s choir loft, or cantoria, carved for the Duomo of Florence in the 1430s. The panels have never left Florence and will be on view in Atlanta through 11 January 2015.
The panels will be shown alongside period musical instruments as well as illuminated choir books from Florence Cathedral. Luca’s marble loft celebrates Psalm 150, whose text frames reliefs of young singers and music-makers. Two years into the project, Luca’s rival Donatello was hired to create a second loft and told to equal or better Luca’s efforts. (Luca did earn more money for his work, showing that he was the more respected of the two at the time.)
The High Museum of Art will host live concerts and recitals as well as offer an audio tour that includes performance of the musical texts from the cathedral choir books.
Luca della Robbia (ca. 1400-1482) was one of Florence’s leading sculptors in the early Renaissance. Though he is better known today for his glazed terracotta, his marble cantoria remains one of the key monuments of Florentine sculpture.
Luca della Robbia, Cantoria (full view and details), 1431-8, marble, Florence, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo
Donatello, Cantoria, 1433-9, marble, Florence, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo