The Essay Was Written From The Artist's Prespective. I Had To Put Myself In The Shoes Of An Artist And Describe What I Thought Was The Value Of Art.

1585 words - 6 pages

My name is Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi, but all my friends call me Donatello. I was born in Florence in 1383. My father was a wool comber and I could not see me following in his footsteps.It is now 1465, and I am at the end of my life. What have I accomplished with all my hard work? I am considered one of the hardest working artists in my time. Has the value of my work been worth the sacrifices that I made? I am 80 years old and have no wife or children to ease me into death. I have worked with some of the greatest artists of our time; Filippo Brunelleschi, Lorenzo Ghiberti, and Michelozzo Di Bartolomeo, and have made friends with many more. When I started working with Ghiberti as an assistant in 1404 on the Baptistery doors in Florence I never believed my work would take me this far.When people look at my sculptor of the prophet Habbakuk2 and Saint Mark3 in Or San Michele will they proclaim it a miracle as I did when I looked at Brunelleschi Crucifix4 now hanging in the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella? Or will they only remember that I used to talk to the marble, as I did while carving Zuccone. I found that the marble responded when I would say "Speak, speak or be damned!"Filippo's depiction of the Crucifix had an astounding effect on my life. In 1412 I was commissioned to carve a Crucifix out of wood for Santa Croce5, Florence. I was quite please how the piece turned out, until I showed it to my friend Filippo. He criticized my depiction of Jesus by telling me that he looked like a peasant and why would they crucify a peasant. As an artist I don't take criticism easily. I told him if he could do better with wood than he should try. Flippo set out to carve his own version of the Crucifix, unbeknownst to me. He surpassed my vision of with the most perfect form I have ever seen. I questioned my ability and asked am I worthy of the title artist? Filippo's Christ is shows the veins in his arms signifying the excruciating pain that he must have felt. The muscles are taut as they must have been hanging in that position. His body is delicate and emaciated, where my Jesus is looks like he has been eating very good, and Flippo was right in his description of a peasant. My Jesus' muscles, although taut, do not portray the image a man in pain. In my defense the diaphragm of Jesus in my crucifixion is much more life like than Flippo's.When the parishioners of the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella look at Flippo's version of the Crucifix do they see the suffering of Jesus that he had so painstakingly depicted? Do they see the realism and the significance of the suffering? Without this it would be hard to imagine how great Jesus' love for man is, that he would give his life in such a way to allow us redemption. If he looked comfortable it wouldn't have seemed like such a sacrifice. I came to this realization and when Medici commissioned a bronze statue of Judith and Holofernes6 I designed it with the humanism that I believe art should illustrate....

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