Who Was Donatello?

Donatello, full name Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi, was an Early Renaissance sculptor from Italy. He is regarded as one of the most important Italian artists of the fifteenth century, having been born in Florence in 1386. Among other well-known pieces, Donatello is well known for his marble sculpture of David.

Donatello Biography
Photo: travelingintuscany/celeblifegraphy

Early Life

Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi was born in Florence, Italy, in 1386. He was given the moniker “Donatello” by his family and friends. Donatello began his early training in art in 1403, working in the sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti’s workshop. It’s possible that he also studied classical sculpture, finding inspiration in the Renaissance in the rediscovered Greek and Roman art. It is thought that in 1407, Donatello and fellow artist Filippo Brunelleschi became friends and went to Rome to study classical painting.

Early Work

Donatello’s early works evidenced the Gothic style popular at the time, such as his life-sized marble statue of David. Still, his later pieces best exhibited his distinct style. He carved the marble image of St. Mark for the Orsanmichele Church between 1411 and 1413. These pieces showed a shift from the Gothic aesthetic to a more classical method.

Unique Style

Italian sculptor Donatello was able to create figures that occupied measured space because his technique used the new science of perspective. His sculptures frequently took their cues from life, faithfully capturing feelings and bodily postures. Additionally, he worked alongside Michelozzo, the architect and sculptor, on a number of architectural-sculptural tombs in Rome.

Famous Works by Donatello – The Artist

The bronze statue of David that Donatello created, commissioned by well-known art patron Cosimo de Medici, is among his most well-known creations. The sculpture, which stands just over five feet tall, is a metaphor of civic virtue triumphing over cruelty and irrationality. The bronze statue of Gattamelata, the first equestrian statue produced in bronze since the Romans, is another noteworthy piece of art.

Later Years

He continued to get commissions from affluent art patrons in his senior years. Donatello’s inventive methods and expressive manner have left a long-lasting legacy, and his influence on the art world is still felt today.”


He was the son of Niccolò di Betto Bardi, a Florentine wool carder. Donatello never married and had no children.


He died of unknown causes on December 13, 1466, in Florence and was buried in the Basilica of San Lorenzo.

Interesting Facts

  • Article Title: Donatello Biography
  • Full Name: Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi
  • Birth Year: 1386
  • Birth City: Florence
  • Birth Country: Italy
  • Gender: Male
  • Best Known For: Italian sculptor Donatello is one of the best artists of the 15th century in Italy, known for his marble sculpture David.
  • Industries: Sculpture
  • Nationalities: Italian
  • Death Year: 1466
  • Death date: December 12, 1466
  • Death City: Florence
  • Death Country: Italy
  • Author: Editors

Famous Quotes By Donatello

  • “Based on our velocity and entry angle… I concur. We rad.” – After the cannonball.
  • “We are just typical normal humans who got lost in the middle of our normal everyday human lives. Nailed it.” – meeting the joggers.
  • “Told you guys I was the funniest.”
  • “Note to you: next time, make your weapons out of high-grade titanium.”