Go to Navigation
Go to Content
Go to Search
Part of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts
Date: ca. 1475–1500Accession Number: 17.190.730a, b
Sculptor close to Donatello (Italian, Florence ca. 1386–1466 Florence)
Date: ca. 1432Accession Number: 1983.356
Date: ca. 1460–80Accession Number: 17.190.499
Probably by Antonio Rossellino (Italian, Settignano 1427–ca. 1479 Florence)
Date: ca. 1470Accession Number: 2001.593
Cristoforo Solari (Italian, ca. 1460–1524)
Date: probably 1514–24Accession Number: 2012.328
Agostino d'Antonio di Duccio (Italian, 1418–after 1481)
Date: 1459Accession Number: 14.45
Browse current and upcoming exhibitions and events.
Fifteenth-century Italian artists saw themselves as working in a period of cultural rebirth, a "renaissance" of the art and philosophy of antiquity. Inspired by ancient Greek and Roman statuary, sculptors focused their attention on the human form, either unveiling it or using drapery to assert its physical presence. Subjects from Roman history and mythology offered new opportunities to experiment with the nude, while Christian devotional images were made more compelling through natural-looking gestures and facial expressions. Emotional expressiveness was a particular preoccupation of that most innovative of Florentine sculptors, Donatello (ca. 1386–1466), whose impact can be seen in several of the works shown here.
Many of the sculptures on view were carved or modeled. In carving, the form is revealed by removing material—for instance, stone or wood—using sharp tools. In modeling, wet clay is built up (and sometimes scooped out) into the desired shape and then fired in a kiln. The resulting material is called terracotta (literally, "cooked earth"). Color and gilding could be added to make a work more lifelike or beautiful. Also featured in this gallery are domestic furnishings and religious accessories, revealing the breadth of techniques in which Italian artists excelled—from working with gold and wood to silk weaving and embroidery.
© 2000–2014 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All rights reserved.