THE GREAT TUSCAN SCULPTORS OF THE XV CENTURY III. Jacopo della Quercia and Luca della Robbia.

Contemporary to Verrocchio, Donatello and Ghiberti, Jacopo della Quercia (ca. 1374–20 October 1438) born in Quercia Grossa (now Quercegrossa) located in the vicinity of Siena, emerged with an artistic style that was in many ways stronger than Donatello’s and his school. Like many other artists of the time, Jacopo received his early training from his father, Piero d’Angelo, who was a woodcarver and goldsmith. Being a Sienese, della Quercia must have seen the pulpit in the cathedral of Siena by Nicola Pisano and Arnolfo di Cambio, and was probably influenced by it. In 1401 during his youth, he competed for the commission of the second door of the Florence baptistery, together with Brunelleschi and Ghiberti, but lost to the latter. His marble sculpture of the “Pomegranate Madonna” (Madonna della Melegrana) was sculpted in 1403 for the Ferrara cathedral, now is kept in the Museo della Cattedrale in Ferrara.

The “Pomegranate Madonna” (“Madonna della Melagrana“), marble, by  Jacopo della Quercia, 1403-1406 (Ferrara Cathedral Museum, Italy). This marble is considered one of the greatest masterpieces of Italian sculpture of the 15th century. Neither Gothic, nor Renaissance, it is still deeply medieval. Its solid and volumetric structure and the majesty of its forms remind us of the works by Nicola Pisano, Giotto, and Arnolfo di Cambio. The elegant features of the faces are typical of Jacopo, especially that of the Madonna, a sort of eternal feminine beauty that the artist will repeat in another of his masterpieces: the funeral monument of Ilaria del Carretto in San Martino in Lucca (see below).

Jacopo also had worked on the beautiful sarcophagus of Ilaria del Carretto (1406), the second wife of Lucca’s ruler Paolo Guinigi, which is at the Lucca cathedral. The beautiful recumbent effigy of Ilaria who is richly dressed lays on top of the sarcophagus and, in the best Gothic fashion, a dog as symbol of conjugate fidelity, rests at her feet. An innovation though brought in by Jacopo was the inclusion of a frieze with putti holding a heavy garland and flanking the tomb, an element that clearly shows the classical influence of the Roman sarcophagi kept at the Camposanto Monumentale of Pisa. This figure seduces the viewer by its intermediate style between the Gothic and the Renaissance. From the first style, it takes the traditional recumbent posture and the fluid linearity of the folds of the garments; from the second it takes a classical attitude in the way that it makes us believe that this young woman, who died in 1405 two years after her wedding at the age of 26, is not dead, but asleep.

Tomb of Ilaria del Carretto, marble, by Jacopo della Quercia, 1406-1413 (Cathedral of San Martino, Lucca, Italy). Ilaria del Carretto, who died at age 26 after giving birth to her second child in 1405, was the second wife of Paolo Guinigi, the local merchant tyrant in Lucca. This group of sarcophagus and recumbent effigy were strongly influenced by northern types and courtly costumes (Guinigi had commercial links with Burgundy and France). A dog, symbol of fidelity, looks up at his mistress from her feet. Ilaria seems to be sleeping with her hands over her swollen abdomen to remind us of the cause of her death.

Meanwhile, in Siena, Jacopo was asked in 1406 to build a new fountain for the Piazza del Campo (the main square of Siena). This important commission reflects that della Quercia was already being recognized as one of Siena’s most prominent sculptors. The work on the Fonte Gaia was slow, due mostly to Jacopo’s accepting other commissions while working on the fountain. He started it in 1414, but by 1419 only the fountain was finished. The works of della Quercia for this particular fountain are only known today thanks to some fragments now kept in the Palazzo Pubblico (Siena’s Town Hall) and which served as models to carry out the modern reconstruction of this famous fountain. The panels that surround the fountain were carved in a workshop that Jacopo opened for this purpose next to the cathedral. Today this workshop is the Cathedral Museum. Della Quercia was also a versatile artist in woodcarving, one example is his Annunciation group from 1421 with the statues of the Virgin and Gabriel for the Collegiata in San Gimignano; these statues’ polychrome finishing was done by Martino di Bartolomeo.

The Fonte Gaia, marble, by Jacopo della Quercia, 1409-1419 (Piazza del Campo, Siena, Italy). The name of the fountain derives from two sources: one of them explains how the fountain was received with much joy by the people of Siena, and so they named it “Gaia” meaning “joyous”; the other source suggests that the name Gaia refers to the Latin term for “bride”, and so the fountain was dedicated to the bride of God and patron of Siena, the Virgin Mary. This monumental fountain includes numerous marble panels and statues representing ancient Roman matrons’ cardinal virtues with a central relief representing the Madonna and Child, and some stories of Genesis. Jacopo della Quercia built the actual decorative frame by 1419. The original marble panels by della Quercia are now kept in the loggia of the Palazzo Comunale and were replaced by copies sculpted by Tito Sarrocchi in 1858. The wolves spouting water represent the she-wolf of Romulus and Remus’ story from ancient Rome. The long section of the fountain (pictured above) is adorned at the center with a Madonna and Child, surrounded by allegories of the Virtues.
Della Quercia drew the inspiration for his design of the Fonte Gaia from the traditional designs of Medieval Sienese public fountains. A large, altar-like rectangular basin is surrounded on three sides by a high parapet. The sides are decorated with reliefs of The Creation of Adam and The Flight from the Garden of Eden. At an elevation of 321 meters above sea level, the Fonte Gaia is situated at the highest point of all the fountains of Siena. Sienese consider it as “the queen of all Sienese fountains” both for its position, in the Piazza del Campo, and even more for its artistic merit. The fountain that tourists admire today is, in fact, a copy by Tito Sarrocchi in 1858 that replaced the original, destroyed by long centuries of exposure to the elements. The fragmentary remains of Jacopo della Quercia’s original masterpiece can be seen in the loggia of the Palazzo Comunale in Siena.
Two nude female figures by Jacopo della Quercia once adorned the front two columns of the Fonte Gaia of Siena. They are believed to represent Rea Silvia (right) and Acca Larentia (left), in remembrance of Siena’s legendary associations with ancient Rome. Rhea Silvia was the mythical mother of Romulus and Remus, who founded the city of Rome. Acca Larentia was a mythical woman, the wife of the shepherd Faustulus, and therefore the adoptive mother of Romulus and Remus, whom she saved after they were thrown into the Tiber. These sculptures were not added in the current reconstruction of the fountain, but can be viewed (along with della Quercia’s original panels) at the Museum of Santa Maria della Scala (the old hospital overlooking the Piazza del Duomo in Siena). Although in poor condition, the sculptures are still a clear indication of the originality and power of Jacopo della Quercia, who managed to capture an extraordinary sense of movement.
Annunciation, wooden polychromed statues, by Jacopo della Quercia, 1421 (Collegiata of San Gimignano, San Gimignano, Italy). The arcangel Gabriel (left) and the Virgin Mary (right).

In 1425, della Quercia began to work in the marble reliefs to decorate the central portal (Porta Magna) of Saint Petronius church in Bologna, which he left unfinished.  This project kept him busy for a good part of the last 13 years of his life and today it is considered his masterwork. For this work, Jacopo divided the available space of the facade into squares, in which he developed the narrative of specific biblical themes including few figures; the same Michelangelo conceded that he was inspired by these reliefs to design his fresco with scenes of the Genesis and Creation for the Sistine Chapel. In fact, Jacopo della Quercia is considered to be a precursor of Michelangelo. Jacopo della Quercia died at Siena on 20 October 1438. In his final years he was awarded several honors by the Sienese: in 1435 he was knighted and given the important position of Operaio of the works of the cathedral.

The Porta Magna (San Petronio church, Bologna, Italy). Each side of the door is flanked by a colonette with a spiral decoration followed by nine busts of prophets in relief that in turn are followed by other colonette, a vertical frieze with ornamental decoration in relief, an additional embedded pilaster, and flanking it all a vertical relief divided in five panels with scenes from the Old Testament also in relief (see picture below, from top to bottom: Creation of man, Creation of Eve, The forbidden fruit). The architrave above the door contains five reliefs with scenes from the New Testament. The tympanum above the doors contains three free-standing statues: Virgin and Child, Saint Petronius (with a model of Bologna in his right hand) and Saint Ambrose (carved by another sculptor Domenico Aimo in 1510). The archivolt is an extension of the colonettes and reliefs that flank the doors.

Let’s now turn again from Siena to Florence. In what was left of the XVth century, the city would witness the raise of several other great masters of sculpture. If Verrocchio was Donatello’s heir as blacksmith, instead the one who continued and emphasized the artistic elegance of Donatello’s style was another Florentine friend of his and Ghiberti’s: Luca della Robbia (1399/1400–1482), the first in a family of artists who made famous their name mainly as master potters and as producers of statuary in tin-glazed terracotta*. Luca worked (and therefore trained) with Ghiberti on the famous doors of the Florence Baptistry. It is known that he was heavily influenced by Donatello, and in the 1420s worked for Filippo Brunelleschi to carve some sculptures for buildings he designed. However, Luca della Robbia’s first well-identified work is a sculpture in marble. This work was the Cantoria* (“Singing Gallery”) commissioned for the organ loft of the Florence Cathedral in 1431 and that was intended to be paired with that by Donatello. Luca completed this work in 1438 under the supervision of Brunelleschi, and in the process he developed his style: while the earliest carved panels are almost symmetric and lack movement, in later panels the movement of the figures becomes more visible and dynamic.

Cantoria, marble, by Luca della Robbia, 328 x 560 cm, between 1431-1438 (Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Florence).  In 1431 Florence’s authorities commissioned an organ loft, called a “cantoria” or singers’ gallery, to a relatively unknown sculptor, Luca della Robbia. It was originally placed above the door to the North Sacristy. The upper part, the gallery itself, resembles a Roman sarcophagus resting on consoles*. The design frames four reliefs on the front and one on each end. At the bottom, four additional reliefs are placed between the five consoles. This assemble of ten reliefs representing groups of infants and adolescents playing a variety of instruments, singing and/or dancing illustrate Psalm 150.

As Donatello did in his own Cantoria, Lucca represented the theme of singing children. In this work, della Robbia’s reliefs even surpassed those by Donatello for their spiritual insight into the feeling of music. There is less agitation in Luca’s reliefs; he was calmer and therefore he portrayed these scenes with more serene attitudes. A group of boys blow the trumpets, while others play happily. Then, on the side parapets, some older boys that seem more able to understand music, appear absorbed reading the spiritual songs: those boys in the front row hold the book with the music, those from behind look over their shoulders, some playing unconsciously with the hair curls of the younger boys, others follow the beat with their foot or hands. Never before in an artistic work in marble has the harmony of singing been reproduced more intensely; the children’s voices seem to resonate in prolonged harmonies as portrayed in their expressive mouths, some giving low notes, some others raising the tone according to the demands of the musical scale.

Leftmost relief of the Cantoria by della Robbia. The panel depicts trumpet players and dancers.
Right side relief of the Cantoria by della Robbia. Boys singing from a scroll with music.
Left side relief of the Cantoria by della Robbia. Boys singing from a book with music.
Second relief from the left of the Cantoria by della Robbia. Psaltery players.
Second relief from the left from the bottom of the Cantoria by della Robbia. Dancing putti.
Right relief of the Cantoria by della Robbia. Drummers.

This work would suffice to immortalize Luca and to elevate him to the artistic height of Donatello; but, in addition, he carved several reliefs for the campanile, framed in regular hexagons like those made by Andrea Pisano. He also was in charge of finishing, in collaboration with Michelozzo, the large bronze doors for the Sacristy of the Cathedral, which Donatello had left unfinished, thus showing himself as a worthy follower of the great master. Another important work in marble by Luca (carved between 1454–1456) is the tomb of Benozzo Federighi, bishop of Fiesole, now placed in the church of Santa Trinita (Florence), with its magnificent rectangular frame of painted tiles.

Two examples of the marble reliefs (between 1437-1439) Luca della Robbia made for the bell tower of the Cathedral of Florence both originally located in the north side of the bell tower and now kept in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo in Florence. Left: Pythagoras or astrology. Right: Orpheus or music.
North Sacristy Doors, bronze, by Luca della Robbia in colaboration with Michelozzo and Maso di Bartolommeo, between 1146-1469 (Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence). Nine of the ten panels were designed by Luca, except the panel depicting St. Gregory the Great on the lower left designed by Maso di Bartolommeo. These doors were not finished until 1469. In them, della Robbia depicted few figures placed in simple, orderly compositions against a flat background, a sharp contrast with the elaborate pictorial effects  and landscapes in perspective of Lorenzo Ghiberti’s famous Baptistery doors.
The seated figures flanked by angels on the North sacristy doors of Santa Maria del Fiore by Lucca della Robbia include depictions of the Virgin and Child, the four Evangelists, and five other saints, including the patron of Florence, St John the Baptist.
The Sacristy doors by della Robbia are ornamented with busts of different figures placed at the corners of the bronze panels. Pictured above, the head of a Sybil.
Tomb of Benozzo Federighi, bishop of Fiesole, marble and glazed terracotta, by Luca della Robbia, between 1454–1456 (Church of Santa Trinita, Florence). An effigy of the bishop in a restful pose lies on a sarcophagus sculptured with reliefs of angels holding a wreath which contains an inscription, a similar theme also used by Lorenzo Ghiberti for the Saint Zanobi urn at Santa Maria del Fiore. Above and behind the recumbent effigy are three-quarter length figures of Christ between St. John and the Virgin. The whole ensemble is surrounded by a beautiful rectangular frame of painted enameled tiles (see picture below).
On each tile surrounding the funerary monument of Benozzo Federighi, Luca painted, with enamel pigments, a bunch of flowers and fruit in brilliant realistic colors, a signature of his work.

Soon, della Robbia dedicated exclusively to the new art of reliefs on baked earth pottery with glazed enamels, of which there were few precedents in Tuscany. Luca’s art is notably for his colorful, tin-glazed terracotta statuary, a technique which he invented and passed on to his nephew Andrea della Robbia and great-nephews Giovanni della Robbia and Girolamo della Robbia. His earliest surviving freestanding sculpture is a white tin-glazed terracotta depicting the “Visitation” (ca. 1445, church of San Giovanni Fuoricivitas, Pistoia). It is still not known how Luca della Robbia came to produce his first glazed ceramics. The import of glazed earthenware from Manises* (a town in Spain), which at that time influenced the ceramics of Faenza, could have been the vehicle. The technique, however, was known: the models, executed in clay, were enameled on fire with light colors, almost always the same: white or blue for the background, white also for skins and clothing. The borders and frames had flowers and fruits, pine branches, roses and wheat spikes, as they are usually seen during the summer on the windows of Florence’s neighboring towns. Luca achieved such high degree level of mastery in this medium that he was able to secure two major commissions for the Cathedral of Florence: the large reliefs of the Resurrection (1445) and the Ascension of Christ (1446). He also was responsible for the series of the Twelve Apostles (1443–1450) that decorate the Pazzi Chapel by Brunelleschi.

Visitation (pictured above and below), glazed terracotta, by Luca della Robbia, 184 x 153 cm, ca. 1445 (Church of San Giovanni Fuorcivitas, Pistoia, Italy). In a dimly lighted niche over one of the altars of the old Church of San Giovanni Fuorcivitas is placed this beautiful, life-sized group, Della Robbia’s earliest surviving freestanding sculpture. This work was designed with a specific setting in mind. The nearly life-size composition depicts the emotional moment from the Gospel of Luke when the pregnant Virgin Mary is welcomed by her elderly cousin Elizabeth, pregnant with St. John the Baptist. Fully sculpted in the round, the two figures were fired in four individual pieces that fit securely together.

Resurrection, glazed and polychromed terracotta, by Luca della Robbia, 200 x 265 cm, between 1442-1445 (Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence). Luca della Robbia’s earliest large enameled terracotta was this relief depicting the Resurrection placed over the door of the left (North) sacristy of the Florentine Duomo (see bronze doors in pictures above), and directly located under his Cantoria (see pictures above). The stable, symmetrical composition is typical of Luca’s work; while the body of Christ, his toga-like drapery, and the armor of the soldiers reveal influences of Classical sculpture.
Ascension of Christ, glazed terracotta, by Luca della Robbia, 200 x 260 cm, 1446 (Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence). The polychromed relief depicting the Ascension of Christ was done for the doors of the Old Sacristy (Sagrestia dei Canonici) in the Florence Cathedral.
Tondi with the series of the Twelve Apostles, glazed terracotta, by Luca della Robbia, 1440s (Pazzi Chapel, Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence). Luca’s demonstrated control of colored glazed terracotta medium secured him several major commissions (see also pictures below) like this one, enlivening the pristine surfaces of the small Pazzi Chapel. The 12 medallions depicting the classical figures of the Apostles in white on a blue background are well suited to the sober lines of the architecture and to the general two-color scheme of the gray pietra serena on white walls and vaults of this chapel.
Cupola of the Portico of the Pazzi chapel, glazed terracotta, by Luca della Robbia, 1440s (Pazzi Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence). Della Robbia’s commission for the decoration of the Pazzi Chapel was completed on the Portico’s cupola and included rosettes with bean-shaped decorations arranged symmetrically in concentric tondi around the central Pazzi coat of arms.
Ceiling decoration of the burial chapel of the Cardinal of Portugal, painted and glazed terracotta, by Luca della Robbia and workshop, 1461-1462 (Church of San Miniato al Monte, Florence). Working with assistants, including members of his own family, one of della Robbia’s finest examples of decorative reliefs is this ceiling decoration consisting of five tondi: the symbol of the Holy Ghost in the center and four Cardinal Virtues (Fortitude, Temperance, Prudence, and Justice) surrounding it.
Stemma* of René of Anjou, glazed terracotta, by Luca della Robbia, ca. 1466-1478 (Victoria and Albert Museum, London). This enormous medallion containing the coat of arms of René of Anjou is surrounded by an intricately modeled wreath of brilliantly colored fruits and flowers. This medallion was originally placed up on the facade of the Pazzi Palace to commemorate René’s visit to Florence in 1442. The center of the medallion depicts a shield bearing the arms of René of Anjou. Above the shield is a crowned helmet surmounted with the crest of a double fleur-de-lys* between a pair of dragon’s wings. On either side are flaming braziers, symbol common both to René and the Pazzi family. From the inner handles of the braziers hangs a scroll with René’s motto :DARDANT:DESIR:. Around the center runs a decorative border with a garland including seven different types of fruit, each tied in four bunches. They are: pine-cones, pears, lemons or oranges, quinces, figs, grapes and cucumbers.

Della Robbia’s art was a popular art; his large workshop produced both cheaper works cast from molds and more expensive individually commissioned pieces. Many of the terracottas by della Robbia and his descendants still decorate many of Italy’s crossroads; some of the most beautiful pieces, sculpted by Luca himself, such as the Madonnas of the Via dell’Agnolo or the Madonna of San Pierino (today in the Bargello National Museum, in Florence) were until recently outdoors in the place where they originally were intended to be placed, and respected by everyone. Even so, quite a few of them still remain in situ. It is surprising to see that the fragile baked earth Madonnas by the great Luca are still intact after more than four centuries, without a strong sign of damage to their beautiful enameled figures. Because it is precisely in the first works by Luca della Robbia, that the Florentine artistic grace reached its peak: his Madonnas are delicate Virgins with fine hands and a soft head, angels adore them carrying vases full of flowers or flying around the queen of heaven, who has the slender forms of a young Tuscan girl. The color schemes, somewhat rural, seem to had been designed to highlight the finesse of gestures: those pastoral bouquets on the frames seem to be placed there to show a high contrast, used in a similar way by the ultra-refined Alexandrians who also loved bucolic themes. But in the work by Luca’s descendants, his nephew Andrea and his son Giovanni, who were somewhat inferior to the great master, the artistic effect was achieved mainly by the charm displayed by the high contrasts of the color scheme. The last works by Della Robbias made large polychrome altars completely glazed. Luca della Robbia died in Florence in February 1482 taking most of his secrets of tin-based glaze with him.

Madonna and Child between Angels, glazed terracotta, by Luca della Robbia, 160 x 22 cm, 1475 (Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence). This relief, also known as the “Madonna di Via dell’Agnolo” referring to the placed where it was originally placed. The angel on the left was modeled by Andrea della Robbia, the master’s nephew and young collaborator.
Madonna and Child, glazed terracotta, by Luca della Robbia, 1455-1460 (Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence). This Madonna, also known as “Madonna di Santa Maria Nuova“, represents a typical example of the artist’s work. The serene expressions and delicate modelling are features only found in Luca’s works.
Medallion with Madonna and Child, glazed terracotta, by Luca della Robbia, 180 cm in diam., 1455-1460 (facade of Orsanmichele, Florence). This relief represents the coat of arms of the Guild of Doctors and Apothecaries (Arte dei Medici e Speziali). In it, Luca della Robbia used vivid tones for the central group of the Madonna and Child, set inside a niche. The white lilies flanking the central figures are symbols of purity and virginity long associated with the Virgin Mary.
Madonna and Child, glazed terracotta, by Luca della Robbia, almost life-sized (Oratory of the Church of San Tommaso Aquino, Florence).
Bust of a young Saint, glazed terracotta, by Lucca della Robbia and workshop, 1465-1470  (Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence). For this bust, della Robbia used mainly 3 colors: ocher yellow for the hair, dark green for her garment’s collar, and the unmistakable “della Robbia” blue for her clothing and hat. Her skin is in porcelain white.
The decorative coffered ceiling in glazed terracotta of the Annunziata chapel of the Church of the Santissima Annunziata (Florence) by the workshop of Luca della Robbia.
Above each column of the portico of the Ospedale degli Innocenti (Hospital of the Innocents) in Florence is a ceramic tondo commissioned in 1490 to Andrea della Robbia who filled the medallions with figures of babies in swaddling clothes against a blue background following the style of his uncle Luca. A few of these tondi are still in situ, some others are know kept in museums and were replaced by 19th century copies. The current insignia of the American Academy of Pediatrics is based on one of these tondi.


Cantoria: A balcony for singers. Specifically, the choir gallery in an Italian church.


Console: In architecture refers to a type of bracket or corbel, particularly one with a scroll-shaped profile: usually an ogee (S or inverted S curve) or double-ogee terminating in volutes (spirals) above and below. A console projects about one-half its height or less to support a window head, cornice, shelf, or sculpture. The difference between a console and other varieties of bracket has more to do with where it is used than its appearance.


Fleur-de-lis: (from French, fleur meaning “flower”, and lis meaning “lily”). A stylized lily that is used as a decorative design or symbol. Since France is a historically Catholic nation, the fleur-de-lis became a religious, political, dynastic, artistic, emblematic, and symbolic symbol, especially in French heraldry. The fleur-de-lis has been used by French royalty and throughout history to represent Catholic saints of France. Particularly, the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph are depicted with a lily.

Manises ceramics: A special type of pottery produced in the municipality of Manises located in the province of Valencia, Spain. The Manises ceramics prevailed throughout Europe until the late 16th century, being known in many places as “work of Valencia” or “Mallorca”, because of the origin of the seafarers who traded with it. Manises pottery was also exported to France, Italy, and especially to Naples, where Alfonso the Magnanimous wanted to create a brilliant and luxurious court. The export was also extended to Sicily, Venice, Turkey, Cyprus, and even to Flanders and the Baltic countries. The palaces of all the courts of Europe were enriched with Manises ceramics. Many painters reproduced it in their paintings; it can be observed in the work of Hubert and Jan Van Eyck, and in the central panel of a triptych by Hugo Van der Goes.

StemmaItalian for “Coat of arms”. A coat of arms is a heraldic visual design on a shield and forms the central element of the full heraldic achievement which in its whole consists of: shield, supporters, crest, and motto. A coat of arms is traditionally unique to an individual person, family, state, organization or corporation.

Tin-glazed terracotta: Earthenware covered in lead glaze with added tin oxide which is white, shiny and opaque; usually this provides a background for brightly painted decoration. It has been important in Islamic and European pottery. The pottery body is usually made of red or buff-colored earthenware and the white glaze imitated Chinese porcelain. The decoration on tin-glazed pottery is usually applied to the unfired glaze surface by brush with metallic oxides. The makers of Italian tin-glazed pottery from the late Renaissance blended oxides to produce detailed and realistic polychrome paintings. The earliest tin-glazed pottery appears to have been made in Iraq in the 9th century. From there it spread to Egypt, Persia and Spain before reaching Italy in the mid-15th century, during the early Renaissance, Holland in the 16th century and England, France and other European countries shortly after.