Sculpture and Donatello Essay

1480 Words Dec 17th, 1999 6 Pages
Donatello (1386-1466) was a master of sculpture in bronze and marble and was considered one of the greatest Italian Renaissance artists of his time. There is much more to know about him, though then the name alone. He has created some of the greatest works of art, not only in the Italian renaissance, but human history as well.

A lot is known about his life and career but little is known about his character and personality. Donatello never married and seems to be a man of ‘simple tastes'. Patrons often found him hard to deal with and he demanded a lot of artistic freedom.


Early career.


Donatello, born Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi, was the son of Niccolo di Betto Bardi, a Florentine wool carder.
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Its recorded history begins with the wedding of Lorenzo the magnificent in 1469, when it was placed in the courtyard of the Palazzo Vecchio.

Whether the "David" was requested by the Medici or not, Donatello worked for them (1433-1443), producing sculptural decorations for the Old Sacristy in S. Lorenzo, the Medici church. Works there included ten large reliefs in colored stucco and two sets of small bronze doors that showed saints.


Paduan period.


In 1443 Donatello was about to start work on two more bronze doors for the cathedral. He started work on a statue of Erasmo da Narmi, called Gattamelata, who had died shortly before. Donatello did most of the work on the statue between 1447 and 1450 but the statue was not placed on the pedestal until 1453. It shows him in classical armor, the baton of command in his raised right hand. This statue was the ancestor of all the monuments erected since, its fame spread far and wide. Even before it was on public view, the King of Naples wanted Donatello to do the same kind of statue for him.

In the early 1450's, Donatello started to work on some important works for the Paduan church of S. Antonio. These works included a bronze crucifix and a new high altar. His richly decorated architectural works of marble and limestone includes seven life-size bronze statues, twenty-one bronze reliefs of various sizes, and a large limestone relief, "Entombment of Christ." The housing for…

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