Donatello, Beardless prophet

Original location
Giotto's bell tower, east side, niche
White marble
Height: 192,5 cm; Width: 70,5 cm; Length: 50,3 cm;

This white marble sculpture depicting an anonymous prophet (commonly known as "The Beardless") is a masterpiece by Donatello, from 1415-1418. The statue had originally been placed in the third level of Giotto's bell tower, on the east side, first niche from the left.

Donatello depicts this middle-aged man with extraordinary realism and deep expressive intensity. The prophet is erect and in slight movement, turning towards his left, caught in the act of showing a long scroll of prophecies, using both hands. He wears a sober smock and large cloak, with sandals on his feet. His head is gaunt, with contracted and disharmonious features, large eyes and incipient baldness, but the overall effect is of moral majesty and dignity: with the grandeur of an ancient orator and restlessness of a biblical prophet, he addresses the gathered crowd below, showing his prophecy.

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