Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi (circa 1386 – December 13, 1466), also known as Donatello, was an early Renaissance Italian artist and sculptor from Florence. He is, in part, known for his work in bas-relief, a form of shallow relief sculpture that, in Donatello's case, incorporated significant 15th century developments in perspectival illusionism
Donatello sculptures influenced not only Florence and 15th century Italy, but his many pupils used his example to inspire their own sculpts. His work was also a major propeller of the development of realism in Italian painting, especially noticeable in the work of Paduan aritist Andrea Mantegna.
Donatello s career can be divided into three eras. Before 1425, the work of this first and formative era was influenced by Gothic sculpture and also featured classical and realistic leanings. Among his many sculptures from this period include Saint George.
Donato, who was always called Donatello by his friends and relatives, was born in Florence in the year 1383, and produced many works in his youth; but the first thing that caused him to be known was an Annunciation carved in stone for the church of S. Croce in Florence
Born: He was born in 1386, the exact date of birth is unknown
Family connections : He was the son of Nicolo di Betto Bardi, a wool merchant in Florence
Occupation and Career: Donatello was apprentice to Ghiberti in Florence
One of his patrons was Cosimo de Medici.
Died: Donatello died on December 13, 1466
Country of Origin / Nationality: Italian
Also Known as : Donato di Niccolo di Betto Bardi
Lifetime: 1386 - 1466
In his early years he worked in Rome with Fillipo Brunelleschi, escavating and studying in the ancient city. The lessons that these two artistic giants learned in Rome became important for the future development of Italian art.
One of Donatello's earliest known works is the lifesized marble David (1408; reworked 1416; now in the Bargello, Florence). Intended to adorn a buttress of the Cathedral, in 1414 it was set up in the Palazzo Vecchio as a symbol of the Florentine republic, which was then engaged in a struggle with the king of Naples.
Though Donatello was a descendant of a branch of the important Bardi family, he was brought up in a more plebeian tradition than his older contemporary Lorenzo Ghiberti.
He never married and he seems to have been a man of simple tastes. Patrons often found him hard to deal with in a day when artists’ working conditions were regulated by guild rules. Donatello seemingly demanded a measure of artistic freedom.
Donatello made his figures in such a way that in the room where he worked they did not look half as well as when they were put in their places. It was so with the S. Mark, which in company with Filippo he undertook for the joiners (though with Filippo's goodwill he completed it all himself).