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Gattemelata Donatello Michele Gherardi (cast maker)


Donatello Florence 1386/1387 – 1466 Florence

Michele Gherardi (cast maker) Róma

Date 1447–1453 (original), 1906 (cast)
Object type plaster cast
Medium, technique plaster cast

660 × 376 × 177 cm
with base: 1038 × 376 × 448 cm

Inventory number Rg.142
Collection Sculpture
On view Star Fortress (Komárom), Monumental Plaster Casts, Colleoni Hall

Donatello, the famous Florentine sculptor, produced the equestrian statue of the Paduan condottiere Erasmo da Narni (1370—1443), known as “Gattamelata”, between 1447 and 1453. In his will the mercenary commander had expressed a wish for a commemorative tomb to be installed in the Basilica of Saint Anthony in Padua. After his death, the Venetian Senate decreed the erection — outside the basilica — of an equestrian memorial statue in honor of Erasmo’s military services. Almost four meters in height, the bronze statue, made using the lost-wax method, was the first monumental equestrian statue of the Renaissance. Its precedent was the ancient Roman equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius on the Capitoline Hill in Rome, which Donatello had studied during a visit to the Eternal City around 1433.
Commissioned by the museum in 1906, cast by M. Gherardi in Rome. It was erected in 1908, in the Roman Hall.

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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