Great time at Loz’s Party in La Porcetta last night It is early morning and I am back at work investigating Donatello. In my readings of Vasari, the first art historian I have noticed something else. Vasari writes about art in a conversationalist style, just as Vincent did, there are no “V” in my name, but I feel like I am in good company.
Donatello was the rebirth of the ancient lost art of sculpture, he began his artistic career as an archaeologist in Rome with his friend Brunelleschi. His first major work was St John the Evangelist, whilst the head of the figure is rooted in the Gothic style the figure itself harks back to Greek and Roman sculpture.
Donatello’s later work expanded on and even surpassed classical sculpture, laying the foundations for Michelangelo and other Renaissance sculptors.
Figure 1 David
Before I went to Florence I had only noted Donatello’s David on my list of things to see but while I was in Florence I kept coming across a Donatello here and a Donatello there, there are quite a few of them about. When you go be sure and add The Penitent Magdalene to your list, it is right up there with the Burgers of Calais as expressive sculpture.
Figure 2 The Penitent Magdalene
Legend has it that Donatello made this work after a period of severe illness when he became aware of his own mortality, he must have been ill before, because Lo Zuccone has the same expressive quality.
Figure 3 Lo Zuccone
So there you go some preparation for your trip to Florence in case you should go without me and of course you must climb both Giotto’s bell tower and Brunelleschi’s Duomo. See you next Saturday.
My love as always
Vassari, G. (1912) Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors & Architects. London: Macmillan and Co. Ltd & the Medici Society Ltd.