Would it be fair to call the Victoria and Albert Museum a familiar childhood friend? Almost every school trip to London involved stepping onto Exhibition Road only to look up in wonder at the buildings that seemed to burst at the seams with knowledge. A stone's throw from the National History Museum and the Science Museum, the V&A has welcomed generation after generation inside its hallowed halls.

Today, the museum’s charm and curation draw us back to experience a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition. Get your art history hats on and think Renaissance. This month, Donatello: Sculpting the Renaissance opened its doors and will drop your jaw with awe. As soon as you enter, your eyes fall upon a marble sculpture of David and Goliath. Unless you’ve jetted off to Florence yourself, this will be the first opportunity to see the masterpiece up close and personal, in London - and that goes for many of the objects on display.

Peta Motture has chosen to curate this exhibition through complimentary thematic and chronological explorations. The first of the 6 sections is devoted to setting the scene of Donatello’s Florence, where he was born, honed his skills and rose to fame. As you make your way through each section of exquisite treasures in all iterations, from drawings to paintings, to sculptures in marble, bronze and wood, the ground-breaking nature of the artist’s talent and personality become tangible.

Today’s world is incomparable to Donatello’s (1386-1466). We are bombarded with flashy, moving images, and our attention span is shrinking day by day. Yet, almost 600 years after these works of art were made in 15th-century workshops, they manage (with a little too much ease!) to catch, and most importantly hold, our attention, provoking an entire array of emotions.

“Ascension with Christ giving the keys to St Peter” (1423-32) is finally on display alongside the “Madonna of the Clouds” (1425-35) and together they allow you to take a deep slow breath and look. You’ll marvel at Donatello’s ability to carve such emotive scenes into such brittle material and comprehend the intricacy of his relievo schiacciato technique, or what art historian Amanda Lily describes as ‘sculpting air’.

The exhibition runs until 2nd June 2023 at the V&A, book your visit at vam.ac.uk.