Faith and Its Trials, Chiseled in Stone: review of ‘Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces From Florence Cathedral’ at the Museum of Biblical Art

March 11, 2015 10:11 PM

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Faith and Its Trials, Chiseled in Stone: review of ‘Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces From Florence Cathedral’ at the Museum of Biblical Art

Major works by the Renaissance sculptor Donatello (c. 1386-1466) are rarely seen in the U.S. Most of his oeuvre, monumental in size and fragile, remains in Italy—especially the statuary he executed for Florence’s magnificent cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the celebrated Duomo. Today, copies of those works and those by his circle embellish the Duomo façade. The originals are preserved in Florence’s Museo dell’ Opera del Duomo (Cathedral Works Museum), whence they almost never depart.

However, during that museum’s current renovation, 23 masterworks from its collection are being exhibited here at the Museum of Biblical Art. This extraordinary show, “Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces From Florence Cathedral,” will not be traveling to any other venue. Inclu...

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