Donatello was born in Florence, Italy in 1386. Donatello's real name is Donato di Niccolo di Betto Bardi. Donato adopted Donatello as a name mainly because his relations all called him that. Donatello was the son of a wool comber and at the age of 17 he became the assistant to the noted sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti and helped him construct and decorate the famous bronze doors at the baptistery of San Giovanni, Florence. Later on in his life he would be associated with the architect Flippo Brunelleschi, with whom he reputedly visited Rome in order to study the monument of Antiquity.
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