Director General of the Palazzo Strozzi Foundation, Arturo Galansino, opened the press conference for the highly-anticipated exhibition, Donatello, The Renaissance, by stating “Some exhibitions are once in a lifetime, but this show is the first time in history”. Offering a unique chance to see so many of Donatello’s masterpieces together, around 130 works from 60 locations are displayed in an exquisite and poignant experience from March 19 to July 31, 2022 at Palazzo Strozzi (piazza degli Strozzi) and the Bargello National Museum (via del Proconsolo 4).
The Father of the Renaissance, Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi, better known as Donatello, was born in Florence in 1386, and died in 1466. Over the course of his lifetime, he created sculptures that came to achieve world-renown, many of which can now be visited together as part of this exhibition. The major retrospective places his most important masterpieces in dialogue with works by artists including Brunelleschi, Masaccio, Mantegna, Giovanni Bellini, Michelangelo and Raphael.
Pieces include Donatello’s Spiritello with Tambourine (1429) – which Neville Rowley calls “A masterpiece of unstable equilibrium” – and the Virgin and child (1422), the movingly rendered tender embrace between mother and child. Each room draws gasps as recognizable wonders appear before viewers alongside some works which have never before been displayed, and a map offers visitors the chance to continue their deep dive into Donatello’s works by pinpointing other Tuscan sites where his art can be admired. Palazzo Strozzi will also extend the exposure of Donatello by launching a TikTok profile dedicated to the show, and educational workshops and talks held alongside the exhibition.
14 restorations were carried out as part of the ambitious project curated by Francesco Caglioti, promoted and organized by Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, Musei del Bargello and the Ministero della Cultura, and in collaboration with Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (the latter two will become the new homes of the exhibition following its run in Florence).