(b. ca. 1386, Firenze, d. 1466, Firenze)

St John the Baptist

Bronze, height 185 cm
Duomo, Siena

It is not known on which site the statue of St John the Baptist was originally erected. We do, however, know that the figure was cast in three sections and that the left arm was missing when it was dispatched to Siena in 1457. That was Donatello's quite unmistakable way of expressing his dissatisfaction of either the low level or lateness of his payments. Whether the missing part was eventually produced by Donatello or at least cast to his designs can no longer be ascertained.

The bronze statue of St John the Baptist, documented and dated 1457 on its wooden base, carries on the incessant pulsing that animates the Judith and in its expression of pain and grief comes very close to the wooden sculpture of Mary Magdalene in the Baptistery of Florence.