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For ten years the Italian sculptor Donatello worked on the prototype of all subsequent equestrian statues of Europe. By 1453, the master built a majestic monument to the condottier Gattamelate from bronze: a composition more than three meters long rises on an eight-meter pedestal.
The Venetian mercenary commander earned national fame for such qualities as courage and treachery. His figure is riding a horse majestically and nobly, with the determination and steadfastness characteristic of military leaders.
With his left hand he holds the reins of a horse, in his right with a rod. The hero's vestment corresponds to the image of the Roman warriors. Like the famous Caesar, he is no less brave, and therefore immortalized by the genius Donatello in the square at the Cathedral of St. Anthony.
After examining the commander’s outfit and enjoying the first impressions of contemplation of a bulky monument, you can see many of the spiritual features of this person. His face is calm and strong-willed. The position of the body demonstrates the restrained internal energy of character.
With a confident hand, he holds the marshal's baton. All this together draws the image of the dignified triumph. Regarding the lines of the body, the monument to the man is clearly of Roman origin: the lips are clearly outlined, the nose is humpy, and the chin is small. This is a courageous and confident in his proud position of the Italian Renaissance.
Donatello's equestrian sculptural work discerns traits of monumental art, such as solemnity and enlargement. The master’s personal creative style is seen in the elaborate and detailed study of fragments.
Against the backdrop of urban buildings in Padua, the statue of Gattamelata stands proudly and triumphantly. A hero from the past is the ideal of strength and willingness to fight, which is why he was immortalized in gratitude and an edifying reminder to posterity.