Donatello's Prophets On View at Florence's Baptistery

| Sun, 05/04/2014 - 03:00

Three large marble sculptures by Donatello will be exceptionally on display at the Baptistery in Florence until November 30: il Profeta imberbe (the Beardless Prophet), il Profeta barbuto o pensieroso (the Bearded –or Pensive – Prophet) and il Profeta Geremia (Prophet Jeremiah).

The works, made between 1415 and 1436, are part of 16 sculptures commissioned to several artists by the Opera of Santa Maria del Fiore to adorn Giotto's Bell Tower between 1330 and 1430.

The Beardless Prophet stands at almost two meters tall and is inspired by the classic model of the “oratore,” public speaker. It is said to be a portrait of Brunelleschi. The work was to be positioned to the eastern side of Giotto's Campanile, the side facing Brunelleschi's Dome, which at the time had yet to be built.

The Bearded or Pensive Prophet shows great monumentality and introspection. Finally, the pose and the sculptural expressiveness of the Prophet Jeremiah would inspire Michelangelo for his David in the early 16th century.