Close up of a Donatello sculpture head with a polkadot background and a glow around the image

What do you know about the real Donatello?

Donatello – the artist from the 1400s, not the ninja turtle – is often described as one of the greatest sculptors that ever lived. But why exactly? Try our quiz and see if you can spot some of the ingenious tricks and hacks that Donatello invented to set his work apart from the competition.

Question 1 out of 8:

Donatello carved this statue of Saint Mark in Florence. But when his clients saw it, they complained that the head and torso were too big compared to the legs. So why did Donatello make the head so large?

Statue of St Mark made from stone
Question 2 out of 8:

Donatello loved using a technique called ‘contrapposto’ to make statues seem more life-like. But what exactly is contrapposto? 

Statue of David made from bronze
Question 3 out of 8:

If you find Donatello’s wooden statue of Mary Magdalene creepy, you are not alone. Why was this piece so shocking when it was first unveiled?

Statue of Mary Magdalene made from wood
Question 4 out of 8:

Donatello’s large statue of the war hero Gattamelata holds a special place in art history. Why is that?

Statue of Gattamelata on a horse
Question 5 out of 8:

Donatello’s marble statue of the prophet Habakkuk has always been better known by its nickname, ‘Lo Zuccone’. What does it mean?

Statue of Habakkuk made from marble
Question 6 out of 8:

Donatello always included subtle details in his work to perfectly meet his clients’ needs – so can you guess who this statue of Saint George was carved for?

Statue of Saint George made from bronze
Question 7 out of 8:

Donatello invented a technique called ‘squashed relief’ used in this piece called ‘The Ascension’. What does ‘squashed relief’ mean?

'The Ascension' statue of Christ made from marble
Question 8 out of 8:

Finally, which of these materials did Donatello use to create his sculptures?

Statue of Marzocco lion

Are you ready to get your results?