10 Famous works of Donatello (Florence, Italy, 1386-Ibidem, December 13, 1466)
Donatello, as he was widely known, was, is and has been one of the masters of the great statuary and of splendid reliefs; his art coined the prodigies that emerge from the creative condition of human beings and his legacy, like that of so many others, a hundred years later, does not cease to amaze us. Florence, his hometown, saw him grow and was the common bond that united him to other great artists who were born fin this same city.
His affiliation with the trade dates from very young, he was referenced in the workshop of the Cathedral of Florence in 1407. In the time elapsed between 1410 and 1436 he created his famous series of statues that leave exposed his genius and natural domain of the trade, a monumental cantoria of figures loaded with great levels of difficulty and naturalism, all destined to decorate the niches of Orsanmichele and the cathedral of Florence.
The creations were influenced by his trip to Rome between 1430-1432 where he could learn much more about ancient art. Years later, he built his most emotionally charged works, venturing into deformation as a means of expression. He died in 1466 in Florence.
10 famous works of Donatello
1. David-1440- Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence-Italy
Given the Biblical, social and mythological connotations David was a recurring theme in the arts, however, in this version, Donatello creates a magnificent work of bronze statuary made to decorate the palace of the Medici patrons, in it, the Contraposto and other elements of the quattrocentista sculpture, as well as a renewed technique of the cast in bronze applied to exalt the body, for the first time naked, of a David proportionally worked to reflect a diffused musculature.
2. Gattamelatta-1447/1453-Plaza del Santo in Padua, Italy
The equestrian monument to the Gattamelata Condottiero, is one of the most well known statues of the artist; it was commissioned to glorify the character. His impressive naturalism, typical of the quattrocentismo of the time, is accompanied by the victorious serenity of the rider who directs the resolute horse that marches firmly with the authority of the baton. The composition is a little away from other statues symbols while there is no architectural link that conditions it.
3. María Magdalena Penitente-1453-1455-Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Florence
For some, it is the piece of rupture with the classic naturalist style that characterized the artist during his beginnings, it could be said that it was his approach to the Baroque and incursion to the Mannerist aesthetic style. The figure was made of polychrome wood to represent a deeply dramatic Mary Magdalene submerged in an ascetic life of redemption, her appearance, emaciated, almost ragged and old, is denoted by a number of folds whose anamorphosis generates a demarcated play of light and shades.
4. The Annunciation Cavalcanti-1435-Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence-Italy
Commissioned by Cardinal Cavalcanti for his funeral chapel, the image is satisfied in a tabernacle used as a classical architectural framework that harmoniously integrates the allegorical scene to the moment in which the angel announces to Mary his sanctified mission, for this the artist perpetuates a visual dialogue, of candid and graceful faces, contradictory movements, polite filigree and other refined adornments, all united with magnificence in a pictorial sculpture made in serene pietra with elements in terracotta cooked.
5. San Giorgio-1415 / 1417- Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence-Italy
A young saint and hero is masterfully extracted from marble and represented with courage and military spirit that apersonates him, that’s why it is considered one of the best works of Italian statuary. This stately and intrepid figure was created by a young Donatello to satisfy the demands of the guild of arms manufacturers who wanted it to occupy one of the niches of the Orsanmichele church. With the passing of the years, it became a musealized figure.
6. David-1408/1409-Museo Nazionale del Bargello in Florence-Italy
This version of David, a political theme of Florence at that time, belongs to the group of works that the artist would realize in his brilliant youth. Unlike his admirable second David, in this first one, the moment of victory against the Goliath giant is perpetuated in a round sculpture in which he uses marble to introduce classicist contrappost mixed with Renaissance aesthetics in the midst of bodily disproportions. which evidences his beginner status.
7. Judith and Holofernes-1455/1460-Room of the Lilies of the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence-Italy.
The work was commissioned by the Medici to decorate their palace, in this, the scene focuses on another of the symbols of the former Republic of Florence, which like the David, represented the emancipation and triumph of the weak over the strong. Elaborated in bronze, and constructed to be contemplated from different points of view, Judith cuts the head of the enemy in the middle of a quantity of elements that describe with eloquence the meaning of the feat.
8. Saint Mark-1411/1413-Orsanmichele Museum, Florence-Italy.
Another of the spectacular statues created for Orsanmichele, was the first to be completed in response to one of the most powerful guilds of Renaissance Florence, the Gremio de la Lana, the image integrates the fourteen elaborated for the exterior niches of the church, today day is preserved inside, while a copy replaces it in its original place. The pattern of the spinners is shown as a wise evangelist sculpted with classicist techniques and Gothic remembrances.
9. San Juan Evangelista-1409/1411-Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Florence-Italy
A sculpture of the typical religious creations of the artist, where a circumspect Saint John, seated, holds the book that contains his gospels, the pronounced folds in the garments, emphasizes in a daring play of shadows and lights, especially in the lower part. On the other hand, the excellent treatments given to the hands and head in which he applies trephine to curly hair and beards, also ditches his forehead with a frowning gesture between thick eyebrows.
10. Atis-Amor-1440 / 1443- Museo Nazionale del Bargello in Florence-Italy
This is an image of the ensemble of the bronze statuary of the artist, conventionally known as Atis given the interpretations suggested by his buttocks and exposed sex, however, historically, he was labeled with different names. On the other hand, the quattrocentista influences are notorious in this small bronze loaded with many attributes, among them, the golden pieces that can be seen in certain places of the image. Allegorically, a plump angel can be seen raising its arms in a cheerful and vivacious tone.