Donatello, was an early Renaissance Italian sculptor from Florence. He is, in part, known for his work in bas-relief that incorporated significant 15th-century developments in perspectival illusionism.
Donatello was born in Florence and received his early artistic training in a goldsmith's workshop, and then worked briefly in the studio of Lorenzo Ghiberti. He also undertook study and excavations with Filippo Brunelleschi in Rome. His Roman sojourn was decisive for the entire development of Italian art in the 15th century.
Donatello has done several masterpieces of which the statues of prophets for the north door of the Florence Baptistery, five statues for the campanile of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, also known as the Duomo, the notable Crucifix for Santa Croce. His sculpture of Saint John the Evangelist marks a decisive step forward from late Gothic Mannerism in the search for naturalism and the rendering of human feelings.
Around 1430, Cosimo de' Medici, the foremost art patron of his era, commissioned from Donatello the bronze David for the court of his Palazzo Medici. At the time of its creation, it was the first known free-standing nude statue produced since ancient times. Around 1440, he also executed a bust of a Young Man with a Cameo now in the Bargello, the first example of a lay bust portrait since the classical era. In 1443, Donatello was called to Padua to complete his equestrian statue of Erasmo (better known as the Gattamelata), the first example of such a monument since ancient times. This work became the prototype for other equestrian monuments executed in Italy and Europe in the following centuries.
Donatello died in Florence in 1466 and was buried in the Basilica of San Lorenzo, next to Cosimo de' Medici the Elder.
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