Everything You Need to Know About Donatello


Learning about someone who existed so many years ago can be a daunting task. It’s hard to know which information to trust because as the years’ pass, information becomes blurred and rumors begin to form. However, when someone leaves such an impact on a community, the stories are told more frequently, therefore feel more reliable.

Today I will be providing you with all of the important and interesting Donatello info that history has chosen to hold onto. What did Donatello do? Where did Donatello live? Why is Donatello famous? These are only a few of the questions I will be answering for you today. We will begin with a brief biography of Donatello and then continue with more facts about Donatello that made him the man we all remember today.

Who Is Donatello?

who is donatello

So who is Donatello? Donatello’s real name was Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi. He was born in the year 1386 in beautiful Florence, Italy. Donatello’s mother was Orsa Bardi and his father was Niccolò di Betto Bardi. Donatello’s upbringing was thought to have been surrounded by influences of art.

Donatello gained his education in the house of the Martelli Family where many think he may have obtained some of his artistic training. Donatello also found himself working as a goldsmith in which he learned many techniques with his hands. As Donatello grew, he knew he wanted to become an artist. Art was his passion, his entire life.

Donatello loved art so much so that he decided to never marry and have a family of his own. He wanted to ensure he had time and energy to dedicate to his work. So when did Donatello die? Donatello passed away on December 3, 1466. Donatello lived a long, fulfilling life full of art and inspiration. Although he never found love within another, he found love within his craft. It is also said that Donatello was a homosexual and sought after love from some of his assistants.

At the time, this would have been pretty big news which Donatello never tried to hide. Whatever the story may be, Donatello was a great artist through and through and this is why people choose to hold onto his legacy so tightly.

Donatello Accomplishments

donatello accomplishments

What was Donatello known for? You may be wondering why we are talking about a man who passed away 555 years ago and reasonably so. Allow me to teach you about the many things Donatello accomplished during his time as an artist. Once you learn more about Donatello’s history, you will better understand the reasons we are still appreciating him today.

  1. Master of Multiple Mediums
    • Donatello worked with various mediums over the span of his artistic career. He used marble, bronze, wood, clay, stucco, and even wax. Not only did Donatello use all of these mediums, but he was a master of them all. Donatello exceeded all expectations in every realm of his artistic creations no matter the medium he chose to use.
  2. Forerunners of the Renaissance
    • Donatello was considered and continues to be considered one of the forerunners of the Renaissance Era. Creating works in new, exciting, and original ways was something that Donatello was known for. It seemed to be that Donatello was always one step ahead of everyone in his artistic visions and tendencies.
  3. Reviver of Techniques
    • In the 1950s, Donatello brought back a technique that had not been used since antiquity. The piece that did so was Donatello’s Equestrian Statue of Gattamelata. This statue is considered to be the major influencer for all other equestrian statues around Europe.
  4. Creator of the First Renaissance Monument
    • Many people say that Donatello was the creator of the first Renaissance Monument. What people are referring to when they say this is Donatello’s creation entitled Saint Mark. This sculpture was a bronze sculpture that was considered to be the piece of art that completed the transition from idealization into realism. Donatello to this day is considered to be the bridge between classic and modern art.
  5. Innovative Relief Technique
    • Donatello was always hard at work and constantly searching for new sources of inspiration. One of his many accomplishments was that he created his own relief technique. The name for his technique is stiacciato. Stiacciato was a technique in which he only carved millimeters deep into his medium. This allowed for Donatello to create more layers within his relief pieces, in turn providing the piece with more depth and fine detail.

How Did Donatello Contribute To The Renaissance Era?

renaissance artist donatello

A big question many people ask is, “How did Donatello impact the Renaissance Era?”. Well, Donatello did so in many ways. During the times of Donatello, many artists were still finding themselves stuck creating in ways of idealism and gothic styles. Donatello strayed from these norms as he created his pieces using an extreme realism approach.

As mentioned before, it was Donatello’s bronze sculpture entitled Saint Mark which was considered to be the be-all and end-all to the idealization period. He was one of the first sculptors to achieve the correct proportions with the people he was recreating. Donatello also worked alongside many other artists during his time, being an inspiration and innovator to others. It is clear that the impact Donatello had on the Renaissance Era was memorable as we still learn and talk about his works today.

How Has Donatello Impacted Art Today?

why was donatello important

So why was Donatello important? Well, as stated before in various ways, Donatello was the bridge between classic and modern art. Bringing forth the presence of realism and achieving great accomplishments within his realism art is something Donatello will always be remembered for. Today, he is still known and recognized for these things. Donatello is also a great inspiration to many artists creating work today.

Young artists are constantly inspired by the details Donatello presented in his works and strive to reach the level of success Donatello found within his work. Without Donatello, who knows who would have been the person to bridge between classic and modern art. I’m sure it would have happened eventually, but perhaps much later on or in a very different manner.

Donatello Interesting Facts

facts about donatello

Aside from all of Donatello’s accomplishments, there are some fun facts that have been circulating for years about who Donatello was as a person in general. Here are some interesting facts you may like to know:

  1. Donatello wasn’t his real name
    • As mentioned at the beginning, Donatello wasn’t really his real name. His name was Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi. I think choosing to go with the name Donatello was a good idea as it is easier to remember and rolls off the tongue nicely.
  2. Originally trained as a goldsmith
    • As briefly mentioned, before getting into art, Donatello was a trained goldsmith. I believe working with his hands in goldsmith shops was a great way to introduce him to the world of sculpting. Goldsmiths are artists as well.
  3. Most works can be found in Florence and Rome
    • If you ever visit Florence or Rome, many of Donatello’s works can be found in these two places. Don’t miss the opportunity to see these beautiful works of art in person.

Donatello Lives On

It is true, the Renaissance artist Donatello has a legacy that has withstood the test of time. 555 years have come and gone since Donatello passed away, yet here we are still talking about him and his work. You no longer need to wonder, “What was Donatello famous for?”, because you know the answers now. After learning everything we have, it is safe to say that Donatello pushed the art world forward, creating changes that altered the way artists created. Donatello was one step ahead of his time which kept people on their toes, amazed by everything he created.

Not only did Donatello inspire his fellow artists, but his legacy lives on today, inspiring many to pursue their artistry. It is truly amazing to be able to learn so much about someone who lived a life so far away from our own. Art indeed teaches us things history books could never. By learning about Donatello, we are able to understand better what life was like in the 1400s. Artists pour their emotions into their work and draw inspiration from their surroundings. Art mirrors life. By looking at work from the past, we are essentially looking into a mirror of the past. Donatello’s mirror shows us the beautiful life he led and experienced in Italy. Like everyone, I’m sure Donatello hit many bumps in the road, but here we are, reminiscing on all the good his life had to offer.

Thank you, Donatello.

Do you like this article?
no 1


If you want to get in touch with ARTIK editorial team, you can send us a message using the form below. We take a lot of bathroom breaks, so please be patient.

Thank you for your comment

More Articles of Art

Distant Bliss Sculpture

Pharrell Williams, Richard Mille, and Coarse Present Distant Bliss Sculpture

Richard Mille has just presented a sculpture, designed together with the duo coarse from Los...

Famous Large Scale Artworks

Incredible Collection of Large Large Paintings on Canvas of All Times and Styles

Great art is not measurable in length or breadth. From giant sculptures to miniature paintings,...

Michelangelo’s La Pieta

Students Ask Kelly Latimore’s Painting of Jesus To Be Removed From the University

Students of the Catholic University of America created a petition demanding to eradicate the...

Open Your Eyes Exhibition

Javier Calleja and Case Studyo Collaborate Together for the Open Your Eyes Exhibition

Meet the duo's exhibition, open at UNDERGROUND and 3110NZ, that will remind you to Open Your Eyes....


You can do what you like and get paid! Write articles on the topic you like, work at home with well-paid work!

This site uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.