Works from the National Gallery of Art

della Robbia - Madonna and Child with Cherubim

Glazed terracotta sculpture of Madonna and Child with cherubim
“Madonna and Child with Cherubim,” c. 1485, Andrea della Robbia, glazed terracotta,
Andrew W. Mellon Collection, National Gallery of Art
Postage stamp featuring a glazed terracotta sculpture of Madonna and Child with cherubim
1978 Christmas stamp issued October 18th in Washington, DC (Scott 1768)

The 1978 Andrea della Robbia Christmas stamp is one of the few Christmas issues reproduced from a sculpture. Mother and child have solemn expressions, and the two cherubim, represented only by sets of wings and haloed faces, are only slightly more cheerful. Modest in size, the original relief was made of white terra-cotta glazed with enamel, and would have been used as a contemplative image, the sorrow of the mother being something viewers could sympathize with and meditate upon (National Gallery 1994). The traditional stamp, designed by Bradbury Thompson, represents the entire sculpture, and was issued in sheets of 100 stamps (Postal Bulletin, September 7, 1978).