Donatello, or properly Donato di Belto di Bardi, one of the revivers of sculpture in Italy, born in Florence in 1383, died in 1466. His parents were poor, and he was brought up by a rich relative. He at first applied himself to painting, but subsequently to sculpture, and found in Cosmo de' Medici, the chief of the Florentine republic, a patron able to perceive and to reward his merits. The "St. Peter" and "St. Mark" which adorn the church of St. Michael in his native city were his first great works. He afterward studied in Rome, and occupied himself with repairing the injuries to the ancient sculptures. He particularly excelled in works in rilievo, among which were the " Nativity and Burial of Christ" and the "Assumption of the Virgin." His group of "Judith and Holofernes," executed in bronze for the community of Florence, that of " St. George," the finest ornament of the church of St. Michael, and his "Zuccone," representing an old man in the costume of a senator, have met with the approbation of succeeding times.

He was buried in the church of San Lorenzo by the side of Cosmo de' Medici. Nothing irritated him more than to see his works sold to persons unable to appreciate them, and he sometimes broke a finished piece to save it from such a destiny.