Donatello, whose 550th anniversary death is honored on this 2016 2-euro Italian coin, was perhaps the finest Florentine sculptor besides Michelangelo; he was also Italy’s most influential artist of the 15th century.
Donatello was born around 1386, and during his formative years learned Gothic art under several notable sculptors. Donatello was noted for highly expressive, realistic figures. He was also skilled in metallurgy and apprenticed under Lorenzo Ghiberti, a well-known metalsmith and sculptor in Florence.
Donatello’s work transitioned into Classical styling, as seen in works such as St. John the Evangelist, a marble work completed during 1415 for the cathedral in Florence. He also sculpted a bronze equestrian statue called Gattamelata in 1450 honoring the warrior Erasmo of Narni. Gattamelata inspired the creation of other equestrian statues throughout the rest of Europe in later centuries.
Donatello died on December 13, 1466 of unknown causes.
The head of Donatello’s David, a bronze sculpture thought to date from the 1440s, dominates the gold-colored center of the bimetallic 2-euro coin. Behind David’s head is a 1466-2016 dual date feature honoring the 550th anniversary of Donatello’s death; above the date is the monogram of the Italian Republic, “RI.” Above David is the “R” mintmark signifying the Mint of Rome and on the right are the letters “C.M.” representing the initials of designer Claudia Momoni. DONATELLO is inscribed below David along the curvature of the gold-colored cameo insert. On the silver-colored ring surrounding the gold-colored inner segment of the coin are the 12 stars of the European Union.
The reverse of the coin shows the common Euro insignia, depicting an outline of Europe’s geographic boundaries, with six vertical lines and 12 stars clustered on the right side of the design. On the right half of the coin is a large “2” representing the coin’s denomination, with the word EURO superimposing the continent of Europe.
|Year Of Issue:||2016|
|Alloy:||Bimetallic (Inner: nickel, brass; Outer: copper, nickel)|
|OBV Designer||Claudia Momoni|
|REV Designer||Claudia Momoni|
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