Occupation: Sculptor


Donatello was born in Florence Italy around 1386. No exact year or date was known. Donatello spent most of his life in Italy, only occasionally venturing away from his home town or land to satisfy the artistic needs of his patrons. Information on Donatello's formal education has not been found as far as basic schooling and education. This does not mean he was not educated in art. He was apprenticed to Ghiberti at age 17. He stayed with him for four years and then left him to do his own work or sometimes collaborate with other artists. Donatello's lifestyle consisted of making art for his patrons, but aside from making art he also taught it. He was like his master in the way that he also other aspiring artists apprenticed to him. Art can take many forms and directions. Donatello chose sculpting. He is most well known for the sculptures David and Gattamelata. Most of his sculptures reflected church figures or saints having the church as one of his main patrons. Other sculptures were made for wealthy people who requested them made for specific purposes. Two ism's that are reflected well in Donatello's work are humanism and skepticism. Humanism is consistently shown because in all of his work the human being is being shown in a glorified manner. Skepticism is shown through the reactions his sculptures get, one of the sculptures made brought up a lot of controversy and was not considered traditional.

Statue of David (Located above this caption)

Humanism is shown in this sculpture particularly. The person portrayed in it (David) is shown in a glorified manner, which in renaissance time was often represented with nudity and a well sculpted physique. Both of these are shown above in the sculpture.

Maddalena (pictured above)

The sculpture called Maddelana is a sculpture of Mary Magdelane. Mary Magdelane is an important figure( a saint) in the Christian and Catholic faith. Donatello made this sculpture for the church for the purposes of honoring this particular saint. She is shown in glorified manner which is also an example of humanism, but not only does this show humanism it shows the churches' patronage to Donatello.

The Work:

One of Donatello's most famous sculptures is Gattamalata. This piece is what made controversy arise. People began to question the art and have different and opposing thoughts on it, due to the fact that it was portraying a fallen warrior on a horse. Not only were ordinary warriors not valued in this way at this time it was also a breakthrough having the person on a horse. Recorded to that time no one had done this since Roman times. Views differed simply because this was partially foreign or an unknown style of art to people at the time this piece was made.

Gattalmata (Pictured above)

Skepticism is very well shown in this piece, this is because of the re appearance of an person on a horse and the concept of the artwork was not reflected in the time Donatello made the sculpture. I find this piece interesting because of how historically it was unexpected. Pieces like this are what inspire other greatness in whatever form it may be. It clearly shows that it is okay to go outside the lines sometimes and it is not always bad. Lastly, if this is not obvious already it is history repeating itself!! (Statues of warriors on horses were done in Ancient Roman times, now done again in the time of the renaissance)!


"David Statue." N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 1925. <>.

"Mary Magdelena Statue." N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 1925. <

"Gattamalata Statue."classconnections.s3. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 1925. <>.

Source used for part one:

"Donatello." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 17 Jan. 2013.

Source Used for part two:

"Donatello." 2013. The Biography Channel website. Jan 17 2013, 09:22

Source used for part two questions three:

"Equestrian Statue of Gattamelata |" Artble: The Home of Passionate Art Lovers. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Jan. 2013. <>.

Project by: Brooke Rivard_Roots Block R1 and S1

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