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Donatello. 1386-1466. Biography. Donato di Niccolo Bardi , known as Donatello, was born in Florence, Italy in 1386. Donatello was the greatest Florentine sculptor before Michelangelo and was the most influential individual artist of the 15th century in Italy .

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  • Donato di NiccoloBardi, known as Donatello, was born in Florence, Italy in 1386.
  • Donatello was the greatest Florentine sculptor before Michelangelo and was the most influential individual artist of the 15th century in Italy.
  • He is considered one of the greatest sculptures of all times.
  • He was the son of Niccolo di BettoBardi, a well known craftsman and this gave young Donatello status and placed him on a path of working in the trades.

Donatello was educated at the home of the Martellis, a wealthy and influential Florentine family of bankers and art patrons.

  • It was here that Donatello first received artistic training from a local goldsmith which taught him to work with medals and other substances.
  • In 1403, he apprenticed with Florence’s metalsmithand sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti.
  • Donatello and Italian artist FilippoBrunelleschi struck up a friendship around 1407 and traveled to Rome to study classical art. His association with Brunelleschi influenced him in the Gothic style that can be seen in much of his early work.
  • He never married and had no children.

A lot of his sculptures were Renaissance breakthroughs. David, for one, was the first nude statue of the Renaissance, and the equestrian statue, Gattamelata, was considered to be one of the best proportioned sculptures ever. In Donatello's Gothic style he used expressive ugliness to give the statue a life of its own. He used a powerful realism that gives his statues a distinct look.

  • Donatello characterized his figures as individuals. He also made the first bronze sculpture. These were the stepping stones for sculptors to use other materials.
  • Donatello was a realist-a person who see things for what they are, not what they are told they are.
statue of david
Statue of David

The Statue of David, created in 1408, was one of Donatello’s earliest and most famous works.

Sculpted from Bronze in the Gothic style, it was a very feminine and unusual sculpture for this time.

The story behind this famous sculpture is to portray David stepping on Goliath’s head after his victorious win against him; only wearing a hat and boots bearing Goliath’s sword. David’s stance portrays that Goliath was no threat to him, and being fully naked portrays the idea that god is present.

st mark
St. Mark
  • Sculpted in marble
  • This statue of St. Mark was one of Donatello’s three deal contributions to the Orsanmichele’s Church in Florence.
  • St. Mark was a central figure in the life of Jesus and in the Bible; he was part of the original group of Jesus' disciples.
st john the evangelist
ST John the Evangelist
  • Sculpted in 1410-11, and is an example of a religious sculpture which demonstrates the technique of marble.
  • The statue was made for the Santa Maria GloriosadeiFrari Church of Venice
st george
St. George
  • St George,bronze copy of the statue, orginally in marble
  • St. George was the patron saint of the guild of armorers and sword-makers.
  • Originally commissioned for a niche outside Orsanmichele Church in Florence, but was moved in the nineteenth century to a museum.
prophet habakkuk
Prophet Habakkuk
  • Itis a statue that was created by Donatello for the bell tower of the Florence Cathedral in 1423-1425.
  • It is one of the statues that Donatello enjoyed the most.
  • This sculpture is made of marble and known as Prophet Habbakuk, which was a prophet in the Hebrew Bible.
mary magdalen
mARY Magdalen
  • Sculpted from wood in 1457
  • She was a "woman of sin" (prostitute), famous for her beauty and long, blonde hair, until she met Jesus and was delivered, according to the Bible, from "seven demons". The Bible tells that she went at one point to live without food in a remote cave because she wished to survive solely on "heavenly nourishment".
  • Donatello sculpted her as she is likely to have appeared in her later years: worn down by penitence and fasting, her once-striking beauty completely faded and her whole being focused on salvation.
  • She is located at the convent at Santa Maria di Cestello in Florence, Italy.
the feast of herod
The Feast of herod
  • The Feast of Herod by Donatello is a relief sculpture made of bronze that was created around 1427. It is currently on display in the Siena Cathedral in Italy.
equestrian statue of gattamelat
Equestrian statue of Gattamelat
  • The Gattamelata is considered one of Donatello's most important and groundbreaking works for both its subject matter and composition.
  • The subject of Donatello's Gattamelata, was a powerful and illustrious Venetian nobleman and condottiere (mercenary). His military victories were well-known throughout the Italian city-states of the Pre-Renaissance period and his family was well respected.
  • Made out of bronze, this piece was started in 1443 and finished in 1453.

He died of unknown causes on December 13, 1466, in Florence and was buried in the Basilica of San Lorenzo, next to his life long friend,Cosimode' Medici.