From 19 March to 31 July 2022 the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi and the Musei del Bargello host Donatello, the Renaissance, an historic, once-in-a-lifetime exhibition which sets out to reconstruct the astonishing career of one of the most important and influential masters of Italian art of any age, juxtaposing his work with masterpieces by artists who were his contemporaries such as Brunelleschi, Masaccio, Andrea Mantegna, Giovanni Bellini, Raphael and Michelangelo.
Curated by Francesco Caglioti, professor of medieval art history at the Scuola Normale di Pisa, the exhibition showcases over 130 works of art including sculptures, paintings and drawings, with unique loans, some of which have never been granted before now, from almost sixty of the world’s leading museums and institutions. Hosted in two venues, Palazzo Strozzi and the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Donatello, the Renaissance allows visitors to explore the life, works and legacy of this “master of masters.” The supreme sculptor of the Quattrocento, Donatello triggered the revolutionary age that was the Renaissance, developing new ideas and figurative solutions that were to mark the history of Western art for ever. Through his work Donatello regenerated the very notion of sculpture, combining the most recent discoveries in the field of perspective with the psychological dimension of art, embracing the full range of human emotions in all their deepest diversity.
In Palazzo Strozzi, the exhibition reconstructs Donatello’s artistic career through one hundred masterpieces such as his marble David and his Amorino-Attis from the Bargello, his Spiritelli from Prato Cathedral pulpit and his bronzes from the high altar in the Basilica of Saint Anthony in Padua, in addition to numerous exhibits on loan from the leading museums of the world such as the Louvre in Paris or the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Such works as the celebrated Feast of Herod from the baptismal font in Siena or the superb doors from the Old Sacristy in San Lorenzo in Florence, only two of the fourteen works specially restored in connection with the exhibition, are also on display after leaving their homes for the first time in their history.
The exhibition continues in the Donatello Room at the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, where the exhibits include the master’s St. George and his bronze David in dialogue with other celebrated works. The final sections of the exhibition illustrate Donatello’s crucial influence on the work of Mannerist and later artists with a series of unprecedented comparisons and juxtapositions.
Promoted and organised by Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi and Musei del Bargello. In collaboration with the Staatliche Museen in Berlin and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and with F.E.C. – Fondo Edifici di Culto.
Main Supporter: Fondazione CR Firenze. Supporters: Comune di Firenze, Regione Toscana, Camera di Commercio di Firenze, Comitato dei Partner di Palazzo Strozzi.
Main Partner: Intesa Sanpaolo.
With the support of: Maria Manetti Shrem, Bank of America, ENEL.
Supported by Città Metropolitana di Firenze.
Thanks to Beyfin S.p.A.
Above: Donatello, Madonna col Bambino (Madonna Pazzi), about 1420-1425, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz. Skulpturensammlung und Museum für Byzantinische Kunst. Photo Antje Voigt