A-Level: Religious sculpture in Florence + Rome + Venice

Donatello, St. Mark
When the citizens of Florence looked up at St. Mark, they saw a mirror of their own dignity—and of ancient nobility.

Donatello, St. Mark

Donatello Mary Magdalene - detail
This difficult sculpture is an exercise in contrasts: frailty and power, pure spirituality and anatomical accuracy.

Donatello, Mary Magdalene

Michelangelo, David, marble, 1501-04 (Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence)- detail
Where’s Goliath? David scans for his enemy. This colossal sculpture is itself a giant of High Renaissance art.

Michelangelo, David

Donatello, Feast of Herod- detail
City-states vied for the best artists. After Ghiberti dragged his feet, Siena invited Donatello to finish the job.

Donatello, Feast of Herod

Michelangelo, Pietà (detail)
Can stone be that soft? Contrast defines this sculpture. Mary is sweet but strong, and Christ, real yet ideal.

Michelangelo, Pietà

Donatello, David - detail
His nudity references classical antiquity, but David embodies the ideals and concerns of 15th-century Florence.

Donatello, David