Donatello, The Secret Soul of the Renaissance

Florence, April 19, 2022 – DonatelloGentlemen, sir. Code Renaissance. To present the value of this column of art history to the general public, the Palazzo Strozzi Foundation in Florence Half the world’s museums bothered, to assemble one Exhibition from the director Arturo Galancino You selected “once in history”. sponsored by Francesco Caliotiuntil July 31.

divided into two sites, Palazzo Strozzi and Bargello Museumactually puts the show together 130 works including sculptures, paintings, and drawings With unique loans, some never before granted, coming from nearly sixty of the world’s most important museums and institutions such as the Metropolitan in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum and National Gallery in London, the Louvre, the Staatliche Museen in Berlin.

Director Galancino, why this undertaking?

To restore to the public the modernity and grandeur, almost outdated, of this formidable artist, born in 1386 and died in 1466, who truly anticipates his times, and whom we can admire alongside Brunelleschi, Masaccio, Mantegna, Giovanni Bellini and many others, even from Subsequent generations. Do you know what a curious thing is?”

No, tell us.

“Donatello is a name that everyone knows and is associated with the Renaissance, and he is also one of the Four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…”

Who are the other “turtles”?

“Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael … Joking aside, they define the Renaissance. However, if almost anyone would be able to narrate at least one or two other works, not by Donatello. I am posting the points of reference for this great artist and his masterpieces. To illustrate, moreover, that all the greatest artists of the Renaissance, both his contemporaries and those of later generations, were based on Donatello.”

Starting with Michelangelo, just think of the “stiacciato” technique.

“Exactly, Michelangelo considered Donatello to be his true mentor. And ancient sources, starting with Vasari, already noted Michelangelo’s obsession with searching for the new in a sculptor who died before his birth.”

This exhibition also tells the story of the great friendship that took place between Donatello and Brunelleschi.

“Yes, the two were very close, as well as partners. Perhaps Donatello went to Padua in 1443 after another quarrel with Brunelleschi. But before that the two did many things together, even trips and pranks …”

For example, they discuss how Christ is represented on the cross.

“The first room in the gallery displays two crosses in comparison. The story goes that Donatello, after completing his work, proudly showed it to his friend who comments with contempt that he looked like a peasant on a cross. This man crucified. Not satisfied, Brunelleschi secretly carved his cross to surprise his friend and show him how he should have To represent the Son of God, that is, with more dignity and grace, without the drama that Donatello represents. The result is two colossal masterpieces, which still show the different vision of artists’ art to this day. They tell how Donatello’s modernity and non-compliance pioneered new sensibilities.”

Two exhibition venue. Even with a visit order?

“Yes, at Palazzo Strozzi we have a timeline that follows the course of the master’s life, while at Bargello the sections are built around works that cannot be transmitted, such as San Giorgio and David in bronze, and their influence on successive generations.

After Florence, he will leave the gallery for London and Berlin.

“Although in reduced form and with various interpretations, international collaborations of this caliber are very rare and extremely prestigious.

What is the hardest job you’ve done?

“It is almost all the works that practically never move, like the pulpit in Prato or San Giovanni di Siena or the bronze of the altar of the saint in the Basilica of Padua. But our project was so necessary that all joined with great enthusiasm, first of all foreign museums. And without fear of exaggeration, I say this is a once-in-history fair. Indeed, some things–such as the treasury doors at San Lorenzo or Herod’s banquet–have not passed in six hundred years, since Donatello put them down, and therefore they are likely not to marry again.”

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