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


Marble, 348 x 570 cm
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence

In his Cantoria, where the figures are only outlined and not finished and appear thus from the ground level, Donatello creates something new. The austerity and sternness which emanated from his youthful statues have vanished and in their place is a vivacious, almost orgiastic movement. Five consoles support five pairs of corresponding columns, and these in turn are surmounted by a pediment decorated with acanthus and other ornamental devices. Behind the column is a frieze of running putti caught in a wide variety of movements. They run, leap and dance against a glittering background of Cosmatesque mosaic - a symbol of the infinite which cannot be grasped.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 9 minutes):
Josquin Desprez: Motet (In principio erat verbum)