Donatello was born in Florence, Italy in 1386. Donatello's real name is Donato di Niccolo di Betto Bardi. Donato adopted Donatello as a name mainly because his relations all called him that. Donatello was the son of a wool comber and at the age of 17 he became the assistant to the noted sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti and helped him construct and decorate the famous bronze doors at the baptistery of San Giovanni, Florence. Later on in his life he would be associated with the architect Flippo Brunelleschi, with whom he reputedly visited Rome in order to study the monument of Antiquity.
Donatellos career can be divided into three very distinct periods. The first, which is comprised of the years before 1425, showed the influence of Gothic, sculpture but also shows classical and realistic tendencies. Major works in this period of time were St. Mark (Church of OR San Michele, Florence), St.
George (Bargello, Florence), John the Evangelist (Opera del Doumo, Florence), and his Joshua (Campanile of the Cathedral, Florence).
The second period was 1425 - 1443 and is generally characterized by a reliance on the models and principles of the sculpture of antiquity. Donatello worked with the Florentine sculpture and architect Michelozzo from 1425 - 1435. During the time they worked together the made a great deal of sculptures and projects, including the monument to Bartlolmeo Aragazzi (Cathedral of Montepulciano). In their joint work Michelozzo made the architectural designs and helped in the making of the bronze castings while Donatello made most of the statues. From 1430 through 1433 Donatello spent periods in Rome, where he created a great deal of works, notably the ciborium in the sacristy of the basilica of Saint Peter. It was decorated with the relief's Worshiping Angels and Burial of Christ. It was while...