Donatello's Innovations as a Sculptor

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DONATELLO (ca. 1386-1466) as a sculptor most dramatically explored the search for innovative forms capable of expressing the new ideas of humanism and individual achievement of the Early Renaissance. He “left behind him so much work through the world that it may rightly be asserted that no artist worked as hard as he”. With these forethoughts in mind, this essay is intended in exploring the artist Donatello’s innovative techniques and styles in sculpting, expressive of his revolutionizing humanist zest for Roman virtue and form. This essay refers to the versatility and the depth of his stylistic variations, a precursor for many aspiring artists of the Renaissance, with reference to his various works, influences from sights and surroundings and pure innate genius. The essay is structured in a way of exploring the use of his different variations and ideas in sequence with the related pieces of his art, signifying the extent of it being an innovation of the style. Donatello’s origins and associations with other great artists of this time are important aspects to appreciate the sculptor in him. He was born in Florence, Italy as Donato di Niccolo di Betto Bardi, the son of a wool comber and remained a bachelor throughout his life. Early in the 15th century, while the painters were still laboring on frescoes and altar pieces for the churches, the sculptors were patronized to fashion works for exterior niches. This led him into associations, when he was just 17 years old, with the renowned sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti (ca. 1378- 1455) commissioned to construct and decorate the famous Bronze doors of the baptistery of Florence Cathedral. He was also an associate to the noted architect Filippo Brunelleschi (ca. 1377-1446), along with whom he had examined thoroughly the ancient ruins of Classical Rome, discovering the spirit of classical artists and building principles of
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