Equestrian statue of Gattamelata

Equestrian statue of Gattamelata
Artist Donatello
Year 1453
Medium Bronze
Height 134 in (340 cm)
Location Piazza del Santo, Padua, Italy
Famous Artwork by Donatello
Saint Mark
The Feast of Herod
Equestrian statue of Gattamelata
Judith and Holofernes

The Equestrian statue of Gattamelata is an early piece that made its way in during the Italian Renaissance. The statute depicts Erasmo de Narni, who served under the Republic of Venice. His death in 1443 sparked his family to request for a sculpture to be made in his honor, and it was the first renaissance equestrian statute that was displayed at the time.


After the Equestrian statue of Gattamelata was introduced to the art world, it served as a cornerstone for future equestrian pieces and sculptures that were made in that time period, as well as future forms of art. The piece was made using the lost wax method, sitting on a pedestal, and portrays a life size replica of the horse, and of the man. Donatello used emotion rather than trying to create a larger than life figure to portray the hero.

The Piece

The horse sits on top of two fake doors, which are intended to symbolize the gates of the underworld below. There are two reliefs including the coat, as well as the angels that depict battle armor. Donatello chose to display the image as a serious figure, who was composed and alert about the situations around him. Individualism and humanism were two forms of art that came about during this period of time, and it is one that Donatello used in his depiction of the hero with the statute he made for the family.

Not only was it a unique and intriguing piece, it is also the first that was created in a long line of future equestrian pieces to follow. Working as a cornerstone, Donatello chose to create a cool and collected character, and one who know the battlefield, as well as a larger than life depiction in the Equestrian statue of Gattamelata statute.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *