Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America*
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
RENAISSANCE MASTERPIECES from FLORENCE CATHEDRAL: Sculpture in the Age of Donatello (slide preview)
¨Twenty-three masterpieces of early Florentine Renaissance sculpture—most never seen outside Italy—will be exhibited at MOBIA as the centerpiece of the Museum’s tenth anniversary season. MOBIA will be the sole world-wide venue for this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition. These works—by Donatello, Brunelleschi, Nanni di Banco, Luca della Robbia and others—were made in the first decades of the fifteenth century for Florence Cathedral ("Il Duomo"), which was then in the last phase of its construction. and are figural complements to Brunelleschi’s soaring dome, conveying an analogous sense of courage and human potential. Like the dome, these statues of prophets and saints express the spiritual tension of a faith-driven humanism destined to transform Western culture.
This tightly focused exhibition features works all created as components of larger programs for the exterior and interior of the Cathedral from around 1400 until 1450. They include statues and reliefs by Nanni di Banco and Donatello from the lateral entry known as the ‘Porta della Mandorla’; two larger-than-life seated evangelist figures made to flank the church’s main western portal, again by Nanni and Donatello; two of Donatello’s life-size figures of Old Testament personages from the Bell Tower; and three of the hexagonal reliefs carved by Luca della Robbia to complete a fourteenth-century series of scenes of Florentine life, also from the Bell Tower. In addition, the exhibition includes the two bronze heads with which Donatello adorned his “cantoria” or singing gallery inside the Cathedral in 1439. Also on view will be two Brunelleschi wood models of the dome—one relating to the overall structure and the other to the titanic lantern—and three early fifteenth-century stone reliefs derived from scenes on Ghiberti’s first bronze doors for the Baptistery facing the Cathedral.
The significance of the exhibition derives in part from its single-site specificity. Sculpture in the Age of Donatellobrings together objects made for the same location by artists who knew each other personally, offering a moving, close-up look at the project which more than any other shaped the early Florentine Renaissance: the completion of the Duomo.¨