Donatello the greatest Italian sculptor of the 15th century, an outstanding master of the visual arts of the Early Renaissance. Donatello’s artistic heritage includes group and individual sculptural compositions, busts, bas-reliefs, tombstones and equestrian statues. Along with classical masterpieces, the genius sculptor also created deeply realistic sculptural images.
Donatello, as befits a great artist, masterfully worked with various materials. Numerous works of the sculptor made of bronze, wood and natural stone have survived to this day.
Donatello ‘s biography
Donatello was born in Florence around 1386 in the family of a wealthy local artisan a wool comber. The exact date of birth of the master is unknown, no information has been preserved about the early childhood of the future genius.
Donatello studied the basics of fine art at the studio of Lorenzo di Bicci, and later at another Florentine artist, Lorenzo Ghiberti. The latter also taught the young sculptor the intricacies of bronze casting. In 1404-1407, Donatello went to Rome to get acquainted with the sculptural works of ancient masters. During their stay in the Eternal City, with his friend were carried away by archaeological excavations.
Upon his return from Rome, Donatello at first continued to work in the workshop of Lorenzo Ghiberti and helped his teacher complete several sculptural projects. In 1408, the young artist created his first independent work a marble statue of David. The ancient traditions of sculptural art are still clearly visible in it.
The next work of the young sculptor “St. John the Theologian” brought him wide fame.
It was after its creation in Florence that they started talking about the appearance of a new talented sculptor. Donatello becomes in demand, he receives numerous orders for the decoration of churches and cathedrals, the production of funerary monuments and bas-reliefs.
The first Florentine period of the master’s creativity lasted more than 35 years, and its peak was the creation of the famous bronze David in 1432. The artist sculpted a work that was very daring for that era, depicting the naked body of a biblical hero.
In 1444 Donatello was invited to Padua to create the majestic monument to Gattamelate. For several centuries this masterpiece became a model of the ideal equestrian sculptural composition. The inhabitants of Padua did not want to let go of the great master and constantly offered him generous orders. Donatello lived in this city for the next 12 years.
In 1456, the 70-year-old meter returned to his native Florence.
Until a ripe old age, he worked in his workshop, but the masterpieces of the last decade of the sculptor’s life are full of sorrow and tragedy.
On December 13, 1466, being at a very old age, Donatello died and was buried in the temple of San Lorenzo. The facade of this church is still decorated with numerous works of the genius Florentine master of the Renaissance era.
Donatello left behind mankind many magnificent sculptural works and had a huge impact on the development of world art.