Elegant Padova -- known in English as Padua -- is home to an ancient university, a Basilica that is an important centre for pilgrims and a chapel containing one of the world’s greatest art treasures. Use this website to help you plan a visit to this fascinating northern Italian city and find your way to the other beautiful towns and villages in the Veneto that are perhaps less well known to tourists.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

See Donatello masterpiece in piazza in Padova

One of the greatest works by early Renaissance sculptor Donatello is standing out in the open air in Padova for all to see.
The Florentine’s bronze equestrian statue of Gattamelata is to the left of the Basilica di Sant’Antonio as you approach from the direction of Via del Santo.
Donatello's bronze statue in Piazza del Santo. 
The statue was completed in 1453 and portrays the military leader Erasmus da Narni, who was known as Gattamelata (honeyed cat.)
It is believed to be the earliest Renaissance equestrian statue that still survives and was a precedent for later sculptures honouring military heroes.
The soldier and his horse are both portrayed in life size by Donatello instead of being larger than life as with classical equestrian statues.
Gattamelata, who died in 1443, is actually buried inside the basilica.
Donatello was commissioned by the family to create a monument in memory of the great Commander of the Venetian Republic.
The statue is mounted on a pedestal that resembles a sepulchre. Gattamelata appears in the style of a Roman emperor astride his horse. His head is uncovered and the realistic expression on his face shows his decisive spirit. 

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