Dictionary of Art and Artists



 

 


History of

Architecture and Sculpture

 
 

 

 
 

 
 

CONTENTS:

 
 

PART ONE
THE ANCIENT WORLD
PREHISTORIC ART
EGYPTIAN ART

ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN ART
AEGEAN ART
GREEK ART
ETRUSCAN ART
ROMAN ART
EARLY CHRISTIAN AND BYZANTINE ART

PART TWO
THE MIDDLE AGES
EARLY MEDIEVAL ART
ROMANESQUE ART
GOTHIC ART

PART THREE
THE RENAISSANCE THROUGH THE ROCOCO
LATE GOTHIC
THE EARLY RENAISSANCE IN ITALY
THE HIGH RENAISSANCE IN ITALY
MANNERISM AND OTHER TRENDS
THE RENAISSANCE IN THE NORTH
THE BAROQUE IN ITALY AND SPAIN
THE BAROQUE IN FLANDERS AND HOLLAND
THE BAROQUE
THE ROCOCO

PART FOUR
THE MODERN WORLD
NEOCLASSICISM AND ROMANTICISM
REALISM AND IMPRESSIONISM
POST-IMPRESSIONISM, SYMBOLISM, AND ART NOUVEAU

PART FIVE
TWENTIETH-CENTURY
TWENTIETH-CENTURY SCULPTURE
TWENTIETH-CENTURY ARCHITECTURE


INDEX
FIGURES
 

 
 

 

CHAPTER TWO
 

THE EARLY RENAISSANCE IN ITALY


SCULPTURE - Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

ARCHITECTURE - Part 1, Part 2

PAINTING - Part 1

ARCHITECTURE - Part 1

SCULPTURE - 1,
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

PAINTING - Part 1
 
 


Sculpture



DONATELLO


 


DONATELLO. Cantoria. 1439. Marble. Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence
 
 

DONATELLO. Cantoria (detail). 1439. Marble. Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence
 

DONATELLO. Cantoria (detail). 1439. Marble. Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence


 

DONATELLO'S LATER WORKS.

 In contrast, the wood Mary Magdalen (fig. 579) of some 30 years later seems so far from Renaissance ideals that at first we are tempted to see in this statue a return to such Gothic devotional images as the Bonn Pieta (see fig. 497). But when we look back at the intensity of Donatello's Zuccone (fig. 572), we realize that the ravaged features and wasted body of his Mary Magdalen betray an insight into religious experience that is not basically different from his earlier work.

Donatello was invited to Padua in 1443 to produce the Equestrian Monument of Gattamelata, portraying the recently deceased commander of the Venetian armies (fig. 580). This statue, the artist's largest free-standing work in bronze, still occupies its original position on a tall pedestal near the facade of the church dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua. We already know its two chief precedents, the mounted Marcus Aurelius in Rome and the Can Grande in Verona (see figs. 281 and 506). Without directly imitating the former, the Gattamelata shares its material, its impressive scale, and its sense of balance and dignity. Donatello's horse, a heavy-set animal fit to carry a man in full armor, is so large that the rider must dominate it by his authority of command, rather than by physical force. The link with the Can Grande monument, though less obvious, is equally significant. Both statues were made to stand next to a church facade, and both are memorials to the military prowess of the deceased. But the Gattamelata, in the new Renaissance fashion, is not part of a tomb. It was designed solely to immortalize the fame of a great soldier. Nor is it the self-glorifying statue of a sovereign, but a monument authorized by the Republic of Venice in special honor of distinguished and faithful service. To this purpose, Donatello has coined an image that is a complete union of the ideal and the real. The general's armor combines modern construction with classical detail, and the head is powerfully individual, yet endowed with a truly Roman nobilitv of character.

When Donatello went home to Florence after a decade's absence, he must have felt like a stranger. The political and spiritual climate had changed, and so had the taste of artists and public. His subsequent works, between 1453 and 1466, stand apart from the dominant trend. Perhaps that is why their fierce expressiveness and personal quality exceed anything the master had revealed before. The extreme individualism of his late works confirms Donatello's reputation as the earliest "solitary genius" among the artists of the new age.
 


579. DONATELLO. Mary Magdalen, . 1455. Wood, partially gilded, height 6'2" (1.88 m). Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence




580. DONATELLO. Equestrian Monument of Gattamelata. 1445-50.
Bronze,
. 11' x 13' (3.35 x 3.96
m). Piazza del Santo, Padua
 

 

DONATELLO. Door with the representation of Martyrs
1440-43
Bronze
Old Sacristy, Church of San Lorenzo, Florence

DONATELLO. Door with the representation of Apostles
1440-43
Bronze
Old Sacristy, Church of San Lorenzo, Florence

 


DONATELLO. St John the Baptist. 1438. Wood. Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice
DONATELLO. St John the Baptist. 1457. Bronze, height: 185 cm. Duomo, Siena
 
 

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