Florence in Its Prime: Ghiberti’s “Gates of Paradise”

In my work on the labor economics of the process of creative destruction, I make use of the competition between Ghiberti and Brunelleschi over who would do the bronze door panels.  Brunelleschi withdrew, after a "tie" decision from the judges.  He then retooled, and bult the marvelous dome that is still one of the world’s architectural marvels.

 

If Michelangelo’s "David" heads the "must see" list of Renaissance masterpieces for most visitors to Florence, then I suspect "The Gates of Paradise," Lorenzo Ghiberti’s monumental doors of the Baptistery of San Giovanni, rank a close second. The 20-foot-tall portal — 10 exquisitely articulated gilt bronze reliefs of Old Testament scenes, framed by standing prophets, foliage and projecting heads — has mesmerized viewers since its completion in 1452. Michelangelo himself is supposed to have given the doors the name by which they are still known.

. . .

Next year, visitors to Florence will again see "The Gates" restored to their full splendor, permanently installed in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo.  

 

For the full commentary, see: 

KAREN WILKIN.  "Ghiberti’s Doors Are Heavenly Again."   The Wall Street Journal  (Tues., June 5, 2007):  D5.

(Note:  ellipsis added.)

 

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