Donatello at the Venice Palace in Rome

Rome – From July 12, the precious terracotta bust of San Lorenzo, made by Donatello, which until now has appeared in temporary exhibitions, will be placed in Palazzo Venezia for about nine months at the disposal of the general public.

The initiative, promoted by the Polo Museale del Lazio directed by Edith Gabrielli, is part of Artcity Estate 2018.

Donato de’ Bardi, known as Donatello (1386-1466) was the most celebrated Florentine sculptor of the fifteenth century and one of the greatest sculptors of all time. Starting from a climate still largely connected to the so-called International Gothic, the artist soon imposed himself together with Brunelleschi and Masaccio for his innovative charge, becoming one of the bearers of the early Renaissance. The terracotta bust of San Lorenzo was made for the main portal of the Pieve di San Lorenzo in Borgo San Lorenzo in Mugello, a church located about forty kilometers north of Florence. The dating seems to fall around 1440, in the same years in which Donatello made the bronze David – which still inspires the famous film award – and therefore just before the crucial stay in Padua. Also because of its misaligned location the San Lorenzo remained forgotten for many centuries.

Already part of the collections of the Princes of Liechtenstein, it was rediscovered by critics only in 2003, with its entry into the collection of Peter Silverman and Kathleen Onorato. The bust is currently considered one of the most serious and important acquisitions in the catalog of Donatello.

Managed by the Lazio Museum Pole, the National Museum of the Palace of Venice is housed in a grandiose Renaissance building, Palazzo Venezia, founded in the fifties of the fifteenth century. Since the museum was founded in 1916, the collection has been characterised by the number and quality of 15th century pieces. The stable presence in today’s visit path of authors such as Pisanello, Benozzo Gozzoli or Mino da Fiesole represents the ideal context for the bust of Donatello. For this reason, visiting the Palazzo di Venezia Museum in recent months means understanding a key moment in the whole of Italian art.

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