(b. ca. 1386, Firenze, d. 1466, Firenze)
Madonna and Child between St Francis and St Anthony (detail)c. 1448
Basilica di Sant'Antonio, Padua
These statues were executed for the High Altar of the Basilica.
The figure of the crowned Mother of God is at the centre of the altar. The way she is portrayed - strictly symmetrical in composition - is to a degree borrowed from medieval models, rather unusually for Donatello. It is probably safe to assume that the clients had made their requirements known in this matter and that Donatello was making every effort to fulfil them. The two saints, Francis and Anthony, both Franciscans, are placed on either side of the Madonna.