Shaping the master: the emergence of Donatello in nineteenth-century Britain

Blackett-Ord, Carol
March 2013
Sculpture Journal;2013, Vol. 22 Issue 1, p67
Academic Journal
The article traces the appreciation of Donatello in nineteenth-century Britain. At the beginning of the period he was a name with a reputation, but no images attached. By the end his work was well represented by reliefs, casts and in photographs. Appreciation developed through critical, often literary fashion, but principally due to the growth of guidebooks and tourism. From the second half of the century the galleries at the South Kensington Museum, London gave the sculptor's work a recognizable identity. Over the period Donatello was appropriated by different parties - Christian iconographers, novelists, public servants, artists - until by the close of the nineteenth century his work possessed a material identity, and a place in the history of art as one of the greatest masters of the Italian Renaissance, for a much broader British public.


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