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Donatello 1386-1466 was a master of sculpture in bronze and marble and was considered one of the greatest Italian Renaissance artists of his time There is much more to know about him though then the name alone He has created some of the greatest works of art not only in the Italian renaissance but human history as well A lot is known about his life and career but little is known about his character and personality Donatello never married and seems to be a man of simple tastes Patrons often found him hard to deal with and he demanded a lot of artistic freedom Donatello born Donato di Niccol di Betto Bardi was the son of Niccolo di Betto Bardi a Florentine wool carder It is not known how he started his career but probably learned stone carving from one of the sculptors working for the cathedral of Florence about 1400 Some time between 1404 and 1407 he became a member of the workshop of Lorenzo Ghiberti who was a sculptor in bronze Donatellos earliest work was a marble statue of David The David was originally made for the cathedral but was moved in 1416 to the Palazzo Vecchio a city hall where it long stood as a civic-patriotic symbol From the sixteenth century on the gigantic David of Michelangelo which served the same purpose eclipsed it More of Donatellos early works which were still partly Gothic are the impressive seated marble figure of St John the Evangelist for the cathedral and a wooden crucifix in the church of Sta Croce The full power of Donatello first appeared in two marble statues St Mark and St George which were completed in 1415 St George has been replaced and is now in the Bargello For the first time the human body is rendered as a functional organism The same qualities came in the series of five prophet statues that Donatello
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