I have a confession to make.
I’m an Art Historian and I still think of Raphael, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Donatello as the Ninja Turtle artists. I’d like to say that it’s what happens when you’re from my generation, but I don’t really know how my fellow art history students feel about it.
Interesting fact: in the 19th century, Raphael was by far the most famous Renaissance artist, not Da Vinci or Michelangelo. On the XKCD chart of notoriety as ninja turtle vs. Renaissance artist, he’d be Donatello, except with the colors switched. Except that they didn’t really have Ninja Turtles in the 19th century…that was a 1980’s creation. But still! Also, an avant-garde movement in nineteenth century England was called the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, in an attempt to go back to the perceived innocence and sincerity of Raphael and artists who came before him.
Also, as a shout-out to Donatello, the one, according to XKCD who is least famous today as an artist (and we know that XKCD never lies), here are some nice pieces that he did.
Donatello, David, c. 1440, photo by Patrick A. Rodgers
Donatello, Habakuk, c. 1430
Donatello, Mary Magdalene, c. 1455, photo by I, Sailko
Oh wait, did I just post some of the weirdest sculptures that Donatello did? Oops. Sometimes I think he would have been happy as a contemporary 21st century sculptor instead of a Renaissance one. But he truly was a Renaissance artist, and quite a notable one at that.