(b. ca. 1386, Firenze, d. 1466, Firenze)
Equestrian Statue of Gattamelata1447-50
Bronze, 340 x 390 cm (without base)
Piazza del Santo, Padua
While he was working on the High Altar of St Anthony, Donatello also executed the Equestrian Statue of Gattamelata. This was set up in front of the church in a space then used as a cemetery. Both horse and rider - inspired by the Statue of Marcus Aurelius in Rome, or the Greek horses atop the Venetian Church of St Mark's - were a complete unit destined to become the prototype of many subsequent equestrian monuments.
Vasari wrote about the statue: "Donatello proved himself such a master in the proportions and excellence of this huge cast that he challenges comparison with any of the ancient craftsmen in expressing movement, in design, skill, diligence, and proportion. The work astounded everyone who saw it then and it continues to astound anyone who sees it today. " (Vasari).