Ghiberti, Lorenzo (1378?-1455) by Scholes, Robert

Lorenzo Ghiberti (1378 – 1455) Originally named Lorenzo di Bartolo, Ghiberti was born in Florence and trained as a goldsmith. In 1403, competing against such formidable rivals as Filippo Brunelleschi and Jacopo della Quercia, Ghiberti won his first major commission, the making of the second pair of bronze doors for the baptistery of the cathedral of Florence. (The first pair had been made in the the previous century by Andrea Pisano.) Ghiberti spent more than 20 years completing them, aided by his students, including and . Each door contains 14 scenes from the lives of Christ, the Evangelists, and the church fathers. These doors were installed in 1424, and a third set of doors by Ghiberti in 1452. Donatello Paolo Uccello In February 1913, Richard Aldington, on a tour of Italy, wrote a column on Florence for , in which he said, “Ghiberti’s gates ought to be the gates of Paradise–a pity the Florentines don’t keep them clean” Aldington was not the first to praise the doors in this way. It was Michelangelo who first likened them to the gates of Paradise. The New Age NA 12.16:386 They keep them clean now.

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