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

Herod's Banquet

c. 1439
Marble, 44 x 65 cm
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lille

The meeting with Masaccio, who in 1429 was working in Pisa, undoubtedly influenced Donatello, leading him to explore more deeply the problem of perspective and space. Moreover, the same rules of two-point linear perspective, which Leon Battista Alberti codified in his De Pictura in 1435, also guided Donatello in this direction.

This is attested to by the Herod's Banquet of the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lille (once part of the collections belonging to Lorenzo the Magnificent); Salomé, who in the act of dancing expresses her dramatic tension - within an imaginary architectural structure - is a demonstration of Alberti's instructions and causes the narrative content to blend into the architectural representation.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 15 minutes):
Richard Strauss: Salome, closing scene