Donatello

By: Claire Pellegrini

Biography:

Donatello was born in Florence, Italy in 1836. He spend most of his life in Florence and Padua. Some of his patrons were the Medici family (specifically Cozimo but also Piero), San Michele, and the son and wife of Erasmo . He died in Florence in 1466.


He was apprenticed to Ghiberti until 1407. He was trained as a goldsmith. Then he worked in "the catherdral's workshpos". He was partners with Michelozzo.


Donatello never married. He was friends with some other artists though (such as Leon Battista Alberti). He was partners on and off with Michelozzo. He traveled to Rome.


Donatello was a sculptor. He worked with wood, bronze, and stone (such as marble). Some of his pieces are Feast of Herod, Gattamelata, David, and Judith and Holofernes. In addition to sculptures, he worked with reliefs and tombs.

David (bronze):

This is a bronze statue of a man. He is nude and has one foot on a decapitated head. He has long curly hair. He also is wearing a hat and is looking slightly down. David has one hand on his hip and the other leaning on a sword. It has a calm, relaxed face and position.


This piece was created in 1430. It was commissioned, but we are not sure by who. It was first seen in the Medici palace's courtyard. It can now be seen in the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence.


This statue was the "first large-scale, free-standing nude... in the rennaisance" and since Roman times.


I find this piece interesting because it seems to be made up of opposites. For example, the subject of the statue is male, but the hat and hair are very femine. Also, since David is standing on a decapitated head and holding a sword it seems like it should be war-like or violent. But, the overall feel is calm and gentle.



Classicism:

I think Donatello and this piece represent classicalism. Part of classicism is using Greek and Roman styles and Donatello actually went to Rome to study. The style of David is one that hadn't been used since Roman times. Also, this piece glorified the human body and showed a nude body (traits of classicalism).


Also, both the artist and the piece, could represent Scientific Naturalism. Even though the story of David is a biblical story, the piece is not religious. It is more focused on how it is portrayed then the fact that it is portrayed. Also, it is thought that Donatello studied a real person for David and the proportions are correct and realistic.

Works Cited:

"Donatello." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Biography in Context. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.


"Donatello." International Dictionary of Art and Artists. Gale, 1990. Biography in Context. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.


"Donatello." World Eras. Ed. Norman J. Wilson. Vol. 1: European Renaissance and Reformation, 1350-1600. Detroit: Gale Group, 2001. Biography in Context. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.


Krén, Emil, and Daniel Marx. "Web Gallery of Art, Image Collection, Virtual Museum, Searchable Database of European Fine Arts (1000-1900)." Web Gallery of Art, Image Collection, Virtual Museum, Searchable Database of European Fine Arts (1000-1900). N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2013.

-http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/bio/d/donatell/biograph.html


Krén, Emil, and Daniel Marx. "David by DONATELLO." David by DONATELLO. Web Gallery of Art, n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2013.


David. N.d. Photograph. Museo Nazionale Del Bargello, Florence, Italy. ARTstor. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. <http://library.artstor.org/library/secure/ViewImages?id=%2FThWdC8hIywtPygxFTx5TnQkVn0peA%3D%3D>.


The Feast of Herod. N.d. Photograph. Musée Des Beaux-arts, France. ARTstor. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. <http://library.artstor.org/library/secure/ViewImages?id=8CJfdzIoMloyLyw4ejp2TXwo>.


Gattamelata, Side of Complete Statute. N.d. Photograph. ARTstor. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. <http://library.artstor.org/library/secure/ViewImages?id=8CNZfzkuPDhdLS04eTp7SHgpVg%3D%3D>.


Judith and Holofernes. N.d. Photograph. Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, Italy. ARTstor. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. <http://library.artstor.org/library/secure/ViewImages?id=4iFCeTg4NCciJy8laCt2KngqVXkhfl9%2FfQ%3D%3D>.