Donatello Essay example

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Donatello

Donatello’s real name is Donato di Niccolo di Betto Bardi (1386-1466). Donatello was a master of sculpture in bronze and marble and was one of the greatest Italian Renaissance artists of his time. A lot is known about his life and career but little is known about his character and personality. He never married and seems to be a man of simple tastes. Patrons often found him hard to deal with and he demanded a lot of artistic freedom. The inscriptions and signatures on his works are among the earliest examples of classical Roman lettering. He had a more detailed range of knowledge of ancient sculpture than any other artist of his time. His work was inspired by ancient visual examples which he often transformed, he was
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He no longer modelled his shapes but he seemed to “paint” them with his chisel.

Donatello continued to explore the possibilities of the new technique he would use in his marble reliefs of the 1420’s and early 1430’s. The best of these were “The Ascension, with Christ giving the keys to St. Peter,” the “Feast of Herod” (1433-1435), the large stucco roundels with scenes from the life of St. John the Evangelist (1434-1437), and the dome of the old sacristy of St. Lorenzo shows the same technique but with color added.

Donatello had also become a major sculptor in bronze. His earliest work of this was the more than life size statue of St. Louis (1423) which was replaced half a century later. Donatello in partnership with Michelozzo helped with fine bronze effigy on the tomb of the pope John XXIII in the bapistery, the “Assumption of the Virgin” on the Brancacci tomb and the dancing angels on the outdoor pulpit of the Prato Cathedral (1433-1438).
His departure from the standards of Brunelleschi did not go to well between the two old friends and was never repaired. Brunelleschi even made epigrams against Donatello.

During his partnership with Michelozzo, Donatello made works of pure sculpture, including several works of bronze. The earliest and most important of these was the “Feast of Herod” (1423-1427). He also made two statuettes of Virtues and then three nude child angels (one which was stolen and is now in the
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