Donatello (1386 – 1466) was an Italian artist of the Early Renaissance. He is one of the most important artists of his time, known for his lifelike sculptures and innovative techniques in creating them.
Donatello was born in Florence, Italy in 1386. His father was a member of the Wool Guild, and his grandfather was a master goldsmith. From a young age, Donatello showed an interest in art and was apprenticed to a goldsmith. He later studied under the renowned sculptor Ghiberti.
Donatello’s early works were mostly relief sculptures, such as the altar piece he created for the Florence Cathedral. He also did a series of statues for the exterior of the cathedral. These statues were of Old Testament prophets and were meant to be seen from below, as if looking up at them from the ground.
Donatello’s most famous work is the life-size bronze statue of David, which he created between 1430 and 1432. This statue was originally placed in the courtyard of the Palazzo Vecchio, the seat of government in Florence. It was later moved to the Accademia Gallery, where it is on display today.
Donatello’s other famous works include the bronze statue of St. Mark (1411-1413) and the marble statue of St. George (1415-1417). Both of these statues are located in the city of Florence.
Donatello died in 1466, at the age of 80. His life’s work greatly influenced the development of Renaissance art.