"The Baptistery Doors n2" Battistero San Giovanni- Baptistry Tip by paoseo

This second pair of doors were so good that the Florentines decided to commission Ghiberti, now at the height of his career, with the execution of yet another set of doors to place at the north entrance. These doors took 27 years to complete (1425-1452), but the result was so outstanding (even Michelangelo said that they were "worthy of Paradise"), that they were hung on the east side, in the place of honour, and Ghiberti's first set of doors was moved to the north entrance (where they can still be seen today).
Their structure is completely different: the panels are reduced to 10, five to each door, and are surrounded by a continuous sequence of small heads, floral motifs and niches which, in their turn, contain small statues of Prophets and Sybils.
Ghiberti followed it by inserting more than one episode in each panel, using daring but coherent perspective solutions. Its secret lies in the perspective, by that time a law of expression, evoking skies, distant woodlands, buildings, groups of figures and personalities that project sharply outwards and are sculpted in what is almost high relief. The Doors of Paradise thus become Ghiberti's masterpiece and unified all his skill as a goldsmith and sculptor, for the gold highlights he used created wonderful perspective and pictorial effects, giving it a precious finish that was also an integral part of the composition.

Address: Piazza del Duomo
Phone: +39 055 2302885
Website: http://www.operaduomo.firenze.it

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  • Written Aug 28, 2006
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