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Donatello Sculpture of Gattamelata

Donatello sculpture of Gattamelata

Donatello Sculpture of Gattamelata
ca. 1447, bronze.
Basilica of Sant'Antonio, Padua

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This Donatello sculpture ca. 1447 of famous Venetian condottiere, Erasmo da Narmi, was popularly called Gattamelata (The Honeyed Cat). This Donatello sculpture was very controversial at the time of its creation as it was an equestrian monument glorifying a man who was just a man, not a ruler, such works always previously being executed solely for rulers.

This Donatello sculpture is a magnificent equestrian statue of the mercenary who led Venetian forces to defeat Milan. Gattamelata's figure is posed astride his great bronze horse wearing classical-inspired armor with a baton raised in his right hand, reminiscent of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Equestrian Statue in the piazza of St. Peter's in Rome. The Donatello sculpture of Gattamelata can be found in Padua on its high pedestal in front of the Basilica of Sant'Antonio.

Brenda Harness, Art Historian

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