donatello sculptures

The artist’s full oeuvre, listed below, makes use of a wide variety of materials as this innovative artist experimented with different ideas and artistic methods in order to produce a broad range of impressive sculptures. David, shown on the left, was produced from bronze and an earlier, less famous version was produced in marble.
Donatello’s Penitent Magdalene was a wooden sculpture that was carefully planned in order to reduce the chances of any cracking. He may have been completely untrained in this medium but he quickly created his own techniques to solve the problems typically associated with this challenging sculpting material. He chose white poplar white for this piece, then finishing it with gesso (stucco). It is rare for an artist to produce a sculpture of this size in wood, but there was no lack of ambition in Donatello’s outlook.

Donatello sculptures
Donatello is portrayed by Ben Starr in the 2016 television series Medici: Masters of Florence. [10]
In 2020 thanks to Gianluca Amato art historian, who did the doctoral thesis at the University of Naples Federico II on the wooden crucifixes between the late thirteenth and the first half of the sixteenth century, with studies he discovered that the crucifix of the church of Sant’Angelo a Legnaia is of the hand of Donatello. This discovery has been historically evaluated considering that the work belonged to the Compagnia di Sant’Agostino which was based in the oratory adjacent to the mother church of Sant’Angelo a Legnaia. The promoters of the research were Don Moreno Bucalossi and Anna Bisceglia functionary and historian of the art of the superintendence who in 2012 considered the work worthy of study and restoration. Silvia Bensì took care of the restoration that brought the work that has now returned to its home to its former glory. [11] [12] [13] [14]

Donatello had nurtured a close and lucrative relationship with Cosimo de’ Medici in Florence. In 1430, the eminent art patron commissioned Donatello to do another statue of David, this time in bronze. This is probably Donatello’s most famous work. The sculpture is fully independent from any architectural surroundings that might support it. Standing a little over five feet tall, David represents an allegory of civic virtue triumphing over brutality and irrationality.
Rapidly maturing in his art, Donatello soon began to develop a style all his own, with figures much more dramatic and emotional. Between 1411 and 1413, he sculpted the marble figure St. Mark, placed in an exterior niche of the Orsanmichele Church, which also served as the chapel of Florence’s powerful craft and trade guilds. In 1415, Donatello completed the marble statue of a seated St. John the Evangelist for the cathedral in Florence. Both works show a decisive move away from the Gothic style and toward a more classical technique.

Donatello sculptures
Donatello was commissioned by the swordmakers’ and armorers’ guild to carve this sculpture of their patron saint, St. George, for a niche on the exterior of the church of Orsanmichele in Florence. The work is a life-sized depiction of the saint standing atop a marble panel which is carved to illustrate the famous mythical moment when George slayed the dragon. Although the work was meant to reflect the Florentine spirit of holding strong against all adversaries, Donatello’s meticulous rendering of the emotionality of the face also betrays a distinct vulnerability and softness. This expertise in portraying emotion, as is also seen in his equestrian statue of condottiero Erasmo da Narni, was a signature technique of the artist toward humanizing subjects that would traditionally be presented in a more idealized fashion.
Marble – Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Florence

Donatello sculptures
In Florence, Donatello assisted Lorenzo Ghiberti with the statues of prophets for the north door of the Baptistery of Florence Cathedral, for which he received payment in November 1406 and early 1408. In 1409–1411 he executed the colossal seated figure of Saint John the Evangelist, which until 1588 occupied a niche of the old cathedral façade, and is now placed in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo. This work marks a decisive step forward from late Gothic Mannerism in the search for naturalism and the rendering of human feelings. The face, the shoulders and the bust are still idealized, while the hands and the fold of cloth over the legs are more realistic.
Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi (c. 1386 – 13 December 1466), better known as Donatello (Italian: [donaˈtɛllo]), was an Italian Renaissance sculptor from Florence. He studied classical sculpture and used this to develop a complete Renaissance style in sculpture, whose periods in Rome, Padua and Siena introduced to other parts of Italy a long and productive career. He worked with stone, bronze, wood, clay, stucco and wax, and had several assistants, with four perhaps being a typical number. Though his best-known works were mostly statues in the round, he developed a new, very shallow, type of bas-relief for small works, and a good deal of his output was larger architectural reliefs.

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donatello
http://www.biography.com/artist/donatello
http://www.theartstory.org/artist/donatello/artworks/
http://www.wikiart.org/en/donatello
http://www.britannica.com/biography/Donatello

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