The tribute by the Academy of the Arts of Drawing, five hundred years after his birth
In 1886, Florence celebrated the fifth centenary of the birth of Donatello. The Circolo degli Artisti funded a commemorative bust and inscription, set on the facade of Palazzo Naldini Del Riccio in Piazza del Duomo, where Donatello’s workshop had been located, and, with public donations, the funeral monument in San Lorenzo. The Academy of the Arts of Drawing honoured the artist with the memorial still visible today in the basilica of Santa Croce. The abundant documentation on file facilitated an accurate reconstruction of the difficult history of that commission, never published before. Initially it had been conceived as a marble work portraying Donatello sitting down, entrusted to sculptor Urbano Lucchesi. However, the statue itself was never created, only the plaster model, which is thought to be the one located in the Scuderie Lorenesi in Palazzo Pitti.