Italian Renaissance Sculptor


Donatello was born in 1386, Florence, Italy where he spent the rest of his life creating breathtaking sculptors. Donatello was the son of a trades man which led him into a wealthy family. Donatello was educated at the home of the Martellis, a wealthy and influential Florentine family of bankers and art patrons. In 1403, Donatello was apprenticed with Florence metalsmith and sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti. Four years late in 1407 Donatello and Brunellesch struck up a friendship and traveled to Rome to study classical art.

Donatello's Other Artwork

Donatello was the greatest Florentine sculptor before Michelangelo, here are a few of his other pieces:

  • David
  • Door of Apostles
  • Saint Peter
  • Habbakuk (Zuccone)
  • Cantoria
  • Mary Magdalene
  • Judith and Hulofernes


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About Marzocco

This piece is named Marzocco, created in 1418-1420 Florence, Italy. Currently located on a platform in Piazza della Signoria, Italy outside the Town Hall.

Significance About this Artwork

Donatello created this sculpture as a lion because Italy equated Florence and its fierce rulers to the symbol of a lion. Also this is one of the first sculptures Donatello used sandstone, which thankfully was a good choice because still today it is still outside and remains unchanged.

What I Find Interesting

I find the specific choice of details very interesting...Why the red color on the shield? Why the specific symbol on the shield? What is the lion looking away? Why only one paw on the shield? So many questions that remain unanswered, and the specific idea that Donatello had in his mind.

Renaissance ism

Mainly individualism because Italy called Florence and its rulers the lion, and only them. Florence also declared its independence from all the other Italian rulers

Work Cited

Donatello. David. ARTStor Database. Web. 18 November 2014.

Donatello. Door of Apostles. 1437-1443. ARTStor Database. Web. 18 November 2014.

Donatello. Mary Magdalene. 1454-1455. ARTStor Database. Web. 18 November 2014.

Donatello. Marzocco. 1418-1420. ARTStor Database. Web. 18 November 2014.