Donatello

Mollie Redman

Biography

Donato di Niccolo di Betti di Bardi was born and raised in Florence, Italy. He spent most of his life there, however he also traveled to Padua and Rome for his art. Donatello's life spanned from 1386-1466. He was educated in a Plebian tradition by the Martelli Family. Donatello was an apprentice to Ghiberti and trained as a goldsmith. His later art was influenced by his early classical training of Roman traditions. Donatello spent his life creating beautiful sculptures that represent the Renaissance. He created sculptures such as the famous bronze David and Gattamelata. The Medici family was a patron to Donatello multiple times. Donatello and his works best represent Humanism because of the focus on the beauty of man and Individualism because of the focus of the achievements of the subject.


David 1440

Donatello's David is the first freestanding nude bronze sculpture of the Italian Renaissance. This sculpture can be found in the Barello Museum, however was intended to be in the Medici Palace Courtyard. This sculpture is significant because it was the first unsupported nude male bronze sculpture of the Italian Renaissance. David is nude with a helmet and boots on. There is a decapitated head at his feet and a feather from the helmet goes up his leg to his groin. I found this piece so interesting because it was seen as controversial. Some people see it as representing homosexuality and others see it as a representation of Donatello's creativity. Individualism is most closely linked to this piece because of the controversy over it and the characteristics of David that Donatello created.

Artstor. David. N.d. Photograph. Museo Nazionale Del Bargello, Florence.

Gattamelata 1445-1450

Donatello's Gattamelata is located in Piazza del Santo, Padua, Italy. This piece is significant because it was the first example of a bronze equestrian statue placed on a tomb since ancient times. This sculpture is composed of a determined leader sitting upon a horse with arms. I found this piece interesting because of how one of the horses front legs is raised and in order to support it, Donatello put a sphere under the foot. This work best represents individualism because of the detailed features of the leader on the horse celebrating the rider's his achievements.


Artstor. Gattamelata. 1445-1450. Photograph. Piazza Del Santo, Padua.

Works Cited

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

"Donatello." International Dictionary of Art and Artists. Gale, 1990. Biography in Context. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.

"Donatello." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 8 Nov. 2013. Web. 17 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. 17 Nov. 2013.