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

Hope

1427-29
Bronze, height 52 cm
Baptistry, Siena

Of the six figures of the virtues that were commissioned for the baptismal font in the Baptistry, including ones from Giovanni di Turino, and Goro di ser Neroccio, Donatello created those of Faith and Hope. Both figures are positively moving out of the tabernacles in an extreme sideways turning. These statues show a lyrical grace that is different from the relief of the Herod's Banquet on the side of the font, suggesting that his temporary collaboration with Ghiberti on the decoration of the font may have caused Donatello to return to earlier methods of expression that had long been abandoned.

Hope was traditionally embodied in the form of a woman who is raising both hands and gazing upwards, towards God. Donatello omitted all other attributes in his sculpture.