Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Equestrian Statue of Gattamelata - Donatello

We just learned about the famous artwork Whistler's Mother.

Another famous piece of art is a sculpture called The Equestrian Statue of Gattamelata made by Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi, also known as Donatello in Padua Italy in 1453.

The statue is made of bronze, which is copper mixed with some other metals.

To make a bronze statue back then, people had to do something called Lost Wax Casting.
First they had to carve a statue out of wax, then cover it with a lot of a type of sand.
Then they took the sand and heated it up until it was a hard ceramic shell, almost like a pottery vase.
When they did that, the wax melted and poured out.
After that they heated up the metal until it was liquid and poured it into the ceramic shell.
They let the metal cool down, and then broke off the pottery.
Underneath was a metal copy of the wax sculpture!
They polished it up and they were all done.

The statue that he made was of a man named Erasmo of Narni, but his nickname was Gattamelata, which means sweet cat.
He was a powerful warrior in Italy a long time ago.

The horse has his foot on a globe which is supposed to mean that Gattamelata could control the world, and he sat on his horse standing up holding a staff and wearing a sword showing that he was powerful.

The big box underneath the horse statue has sculptures on it of some angels, and gates for where he might go when he died.

(from: wikipedia - equestrian statue of gattamelata)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Lunar Lava Tube