The sculptor Donatello - biography, personal life, work and interesting facts.

Donatello is an Italian sculptor who created and created in the Renaissance. Works of art belonging to him, survived to this day. Today you can get acquainted with them in many European museums.

Biography of the sculptor Donatello

Much has happened in the life of this great man. His work attracted many people. Briefly about the biography of the sculptor Donatello is impossible. His whole life was filled with bright events that greatly influenced this famous person.

sculptor Donatello

Donatello was born in Florence. The exact day of the birth of the sculptor is unknown. Historians claim that his date of birth fell to 1386.

The family of the sculptor Donatello was no different from other working families. The father of the master was a simple wool combiner, which he earned for a living.He never understood his son’s passion and love for art. Therefore, he believed that it was almost impossible to make a living in this way. Repeatedly his father tried to draw Donatello into the ranks of ordinary workers. However, the sculptor resisted and followed his dream.

In the early years, the boy had the opportunity to study in the workshop. The first mentor of a very young sculptor Donatello was Bicci di Lorenzo, who at that time was the owner of this small town, where the beautiful was created. The whole workshop was sponsored by one of the richest grandees of Florence.

To get a complete artistic education, Donatello had to go to Rome, where the most famous "slaves of art" lived and developed. On this study tour, the young man was accompanied by his friend - the equally famous architect Brunelleschi, who later became famous for his magical and extraordinary works. Lorenzo Ghiberti became a teacher for young talented people. It was he who managed to lay the foundations of the beautiful in these guys, which then remained in the memory of people.

If we talk about the personal life of the sculptor Donatello, then almost nothing is known about her.Many historians claim that such a talented person did not have a lover, because he devoted his whole life to art. Without changing the cause of his life, Donatello did not leave any descendants behind him.

donatello sculptor biography

Art styles

The sculptor Donatello worked in two styles that were peculiar only to him. The first works were distinguished by their excessive realism. Later works already looked much nicer. Two completely different styles that the master chose for his work became the main ones. It is thanks to them that we still know today who this outstanding man was.

One of the works of the sculptor Donatello, belonging to the early stage of creativity, was the statue. She portrayed a thin and long-haired woman. That is how the master introduced the world to St. Magdalene. Today, this sculpture is in the baptismal in Florence.

The work, which became the representative of the second direction or style, is a sculpture of St. George. It was made of marble stone. Now this statue is in the territory of Florence.

New job

In 1444, Donatello was offered an excellent job in Padua.From the sculptor was required only one thing - to show their skills and cast a bronze statue. This work was supposed to depict condottiere Gattamelaty. The work was a success. This magnificent sculpture can be seen today. The location of the statue has not changed. For several centuries, it is located right in front of the Cathedral of St. Anthony. The most interesting fact is that this statue was the first, which could be put on a par with the monuments of the ancient Romans.

donatello sculptor work

After successfully completing the task, Donatello was offered a job in the cathedral itself. The sculptor gave a positive answer to this. He needed to decorate the church altar of St. Anthony. A work colleague has become such a famous person like Niccolò Pizzolo.

It was the hard work in Padua that became decisive in Donatello’s career. Throughout his life, he has not been made any more lucrative offers than the casting of bronze sculpture and the incredibly rich decoration of the altar.

Further work

The sculptor stayed in Padua and did not return home. There he continued to devote himself entirely to art.

Until 1456, Donatello lived in the Republic of Venice, where he created many beautiful statues and monuments.The Cathedral of St. Anthony was decorated with works of the sculptor, among which the bas-reliefs cast from bronze were especially distinguished. They depicted the life events of a patron named Padua.


In 1957, Donatello worked on the creation of a monument that depicted the image of St. John the Baptist from marble stone. Today, this statue can be seen in the Bargello Museum.

sculptor donatello brief biography

The master did the work not in Padua, but in his native land - in Florence. The sculpture of John is able to impress everyone today. She depicts a thin man with a blank look, in which it is impossible to read any thoughts. His mouth is slightly parted. As if in a few seconds he would say something unimaginable, prophetic. The statue is depicted in motion. The Holy Prophet is quietly walking, but because of his thinness, even the usual step seems like an action, to which a lot of effort has been put.

Other arts

In addition to sculptures, Donatello was fond of creating busts. Everyone knows that portrait bust is a separate art direction. Donatello excelled in the industry. The works of Greek and Roman artists have already sunk into the centuries.However, the sculptor managed to resurrect and again make this art form popular.


Even in the children's works of Donatello, you can see how strongly the sculptor adhered to realism. At the same time, the busts did not seem creepy because they portrayed people's faces exactly. The statues looked nice and nice.

Features of the great master

The art of the master is also different in that only he himself defined the moment when the sculpture would be completed. Donatello predicted in advance what impression his works would have on people who would see them in the near future. The main feature of the master's works was that he managed to embody the inner world of a person and spiritual development in his features.

creativity sculptor Donatello

Work in Florence

The best and most interesting works of Donatello are today in the sculptor’s homeland - in Florence. Bas-reliefs, medallions, various images of famous evangelists of that time in heavy thought - all this has survived to the present day. The doors, which depicted the apostles, poured by the hands of Donatello, became the entrance to the great temples of the Renaissance.

The master always depicted all the vivid episodes of the lives of the saints with his characteristic harshness and even some cruelty.

Death of donatello

Until his very last days, the sculptor lived in Florence. He worked as a master until old age, without knowing the true feeling of fatigue.

donatello italian sculptor

Donatello passed away in 1466. His body was buried in San Lorenzo - one of the largest and oldest churches of Florence, which was decorated with the works of the master both from the outside and inside. During the funeral, this truly talented man was given a huge amount of honors. His death was a big blow to those who knew the sculptor personally. As a sign of respect for the work of the sculptor Donatello, his works were especially protected, which helped to preserve them to our time.

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