Donatello

Donatello StatueDonatello was a famous Italian artist and sculptor during the early Renaissance Period. Born as Donato di Niccolo di Betto Bardi in Florence sometime on 1386, Donatello was the son of Niccolo di Betto Bardi, a Florentine wool comber.

Donatello first received his artistic training in a goldsmith’s workshop, as was the custom for artists during that time. He also worked briefly from the studio of another noted Italian artist, Lorenzo Ghiberti.

While working at Ghiberti’s studio, Donatello was able to create one of his earliest works, a marble statue of David. The early sculpture showed the influence of Ghiberti and the International Gothic style. Donatello was able to develop his own style later on in his life.

Sometime during 1404, Donatello went to Rome with another noted artist, Filippo Brunelleschi, while undergoing studies as well as some excavations here and there. It was their stay in Rome that later on made a great impact in the development of Italian art in the 15th Century. It was this time that Donatello was first influenced by the type of art style that started the Renaissance Period in Italy during that time.

It was in 1423 that Donatello was able to master the art of sculpting. Sometime in 1430, Donatello sculpted a bronze statue of David which became the first large scale, free standing nude statue created during the Renaissance. It became Donatello’s most famous work. This was followed by a number of other commissions where Donatello displayed his unique artistic style that was influenced by classical art.

In 1443, Donatello went to Padua to do a commission to construct a bronze statue of the deceased Erasmo da Narmi, a well known condottiere. With the statue, Donatello was able to conceive an equestrian monument that would have a powerful influence on the other sculptors during succeeding years when it comes to creating equestrian monuments.

Donatello was an active sculptor that did not lack of commissions to do outside of Florence, even after his style was eclipsed by upcoming Florentine art styles. He remained a productive artist until his death in 1466 at the ripe old age of eighty.

 
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