Donatello was one of the great Renaissance artists of Italy, and was best known for his flawless, almost real figure sculptures and statues; he was one of the most sought after artists in Italy during his lifetime. Many of his most famous works are large sculptures of religious figures, such as St. John the Evangelist.
Despite becoming a world renowned sculptor and artists, Donatello spent much of his youth working from stonemasonry techniques he had learned, altering them in line with his own artistic vision. His initial influences were drawn from the many sculptures he had seen, and his early works were characterized by intricate detail and an overarching gothic theme.
His most emotive work was produced during his middle years, where he strove to capture the suffering, joy and wide range of other emotions he witnessed in day to day life. It was during this time that he produced the (now famous) low relief of St. George and the Dragon. He later went on to perfect this technique of creating a three dimensional effect using only a flat surface, which became known as Schiacciato. The invention of this technique propelled him into the forefront of the art world.