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Donatello's "Gattamelata" and Its Humanist Audience

Mary Bergstein and Donatello
Renaissance Quarterly
Vol. 55, No. 3 (Autumn, 2002), pp. 833-868
DOI: 10.2307/1261558
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1261558
Page Count: 36
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Donatello's "Gattamelata" and Its Humanist Audience
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Abstract

Two small nude horsemen located in the armorial decoration of Donatello's "Gattamelata" yield new insights about the use of Greek sources in Renaissance art. Here it is speculated that Donatello was informed by a drawing or carved gemstone provided by Ciriaco d'Ancona that represented riders in the Panathenaic frieze on the Parthenon. Donatello may have included the figures as a learned reference to delight a circle of intellectuals in Padua, including Ciriaco and Francesco Barbaro, who wrote dedicatory texts for the monument. It is subsequently argued that Leon Battista Alberti's treatise "De equo animante" (ca. 1444-47) and Donatello's "Gattamelata" appear to have been mutually influential.

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