Sculptor. He received international acclaim as an Italian Renaissance sculptor using mainly marble and bronze. Working in an era when artists had to create within set guidelines, he needed freedom to create. One of his most recognized pieces was the marble statue of “David”, which was in a style showing graceful, soft curved lines that were influenced by northern European art. This statue was originally intended for a cathedral, but in 1415 moved to the Plazzo Vecchio in Florence. Other impressive pieces were the seated marble figure of “St. John the Evangelist” and the powerful but smaller pieces of “St. Mark” and “St. George”, which were all finished in 1415. He became a major sculptor in bronze with his life-size statue of “St. Louis of Toulouse” dated 1423, which was not accepted readily at first by art scholars but later held as first rank. His bronze equestrian statue of “Gattamelata” dated 1447 to 1453 is on display at the Piazza del Santo in Padua, Italy. Other bronze piece was the bronze relief of “The Feast of Herod.” Born Donato di Niccolo di Betto Bardi, he was the son of Niccolo di Bett Bardi, a Florentine wool carder; was educated in the house of the Martelli family; received artistic training in a goldsmith's shop; and worked in the studio of Lorenzo Gheberti. Most of his pieces are on displayed in Italy except his “Virgin and Child with Four Angels” dated 1456, which is on displayed in London, England at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and “Madonna of Clouds” dated 1435, which is on displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts. Donatello, an early 15th Century artist, influenced other Italian sculptors, notably Michelangelo, and others well into the the 16th Century.
Bio by: Linda Davis