Donatello : Sculpting the Renaissance

edited by Peta Motture

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Arguably the greatest sculptor of all time, Donatello (c.1386-1466) was at the vanguard of a revolution in sculptural practice in the early Renaissance. Combining ideas from classical and medieval sculpture to create innovative sculptural forms, Donatello had an unparalleled ability to portray emotions in works intended to inspire spiritual devotion. Pieces such as the penitent St Mary Magdalene and the bronze of David remain deeply affecting to audiences today. Working in marble, bronze, wood, terracotta and stucco, he contributed to major commissions of church and state; was an intimate of the Medici family and their circle in Florence, and highly sought after in other Italian cities. This book, specially commissioned to accompany the 2023 exhibition at the V&A, explores Donatello's extraordinary creativity within the vibrant artistic and cultural context of fifteenth-century Italy, surveying his early connection with goldsmiths' work and the collaborative nature of his workshop and processes. It also reflects on Donatello's legacy, reviewing how his sculpture inspired subsequent generations in the later Renaissance and beyond.

Peta Motture is the author and editor of numerous books including Creating Sculpture: Renaissance Drawings and Models (2022), The Culture of Bronze: Making and Meaning in Renaissance Sculpture (2019), Carvings, Casts and Collectors: The Art of Renaissance Sculpture (2013)

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Art , Art Reference, History & Theory
Published Date
02 / 02 / 2023

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