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

Pulpit

1428-38
Marble, mosaic, bronze, wood, height ca. 210 cm (without canopy)
Cathedral, Prato

The Pulpit for the exterior façade of the Cathedral in Prato, begun in 1428 and after long pauses finished ten years later, was executed by Donatello together with Pagno di Lapo and Michelozzo. Donatello was responsible for the architecture and the putti, whose joyous movements suggest a vital force that was to reach its zenith in the Cantoria for the Cathedral of Florence. Presently displayed in the Museum of the Opera del Duomo of Prato, the low relief tablets on the pulpit have been replaced on the outside with copies.

The exterior pulpit on Prato Cathedral was to be used to display a famous relic, the girdle of the Virgin Mary. The relic is shown there twice a year to this day.