Donatello's Sculptures

donatello biography

Donatello would go down in history as the most important artist to resurrect classical sculpture from the abyss of antiquity. Donatello was one of the most prominent sculptors in Italy in the 15th century, as well as one of the first forerunners of the Italian Renaissance, because of his distinctive, lifelike, and intensely emotive paintings.


Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi is assumed to have possibly been born in Florence in 1386. The date is based on a statement of revenue given by the artist in 1433, in which he stated his age as 47.

early training

Donatello trained with colleague Brunelleschi between 1402 and 1404. According to Brunelleschi’s historian Antonio Manetti, the two traveled to Rome to unearth and study old ruins.

mature period

Around 1430, Donatello came under the sponsorship of Cosimo de’ Medici. He ordered the artist to create a bronze sculpture of David, resulting in the world’s first free-standing naked statue.

late period

He lived his remaining years in Florence, where he established a workshop with trainees and received financial support from Cosimo de’ Medici.


Donatello’s advances in perspective and sculpting during the Early Renaissance contributed significantly to the basic foundation of what would become the thriving Italian Renaissance.


Saint John the Evangelist (1415)

St George (1416 - 1417)

Bust of Niccolo da Uzzano (1433)

Cantoria (1439)

David (1443)

Magdalene Penitent (1455)