New Book–The Gates of Paradise

The Gates of Paradise: Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Renaissance Masterpiece (M Ghibe .F6 G43 2007)

After more than 25 years, the conservation of Lorenzo Ghiberti’s doors for the Baptistery in Florence—called the Gates of Paradise—now in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, is nearing completion. This exhibition provides the American public with an unprecedented opportunity to see three of the doors’ famous narrative reliefs, with their masterful retelling of Old Testament subjects, as well as four figural sections from their opulent surrounding frames, before they are permanently installed in the museum. The panels and elements from the doorframe—two of its supremely elegant figures of prophets and finely modeled heads set in roundels—represent the sculptor’s intense involvement in this project, a seminal monument of the Italian Renaissance, during the 27 years (1425–52) of its creation.”

“This extensively illustrated book displays the full glory and elaborate details of many of the newly restored bronze panels, the extraordinary work of the conservators and restorers who cleaned the priceless doors. In a series of fascinating chapters, expert contributors capture Ghiberti’s world, his remarkable talent at representing human emotion in rich illusionistic settings, the relationships between Renaissance patrons and artists, and the collaborations and rivalries among artists. Other chapters explore the challenging craft of bronze sculpture, Ghiberti’s casting and finishing techniques, and the painstaking process involved in documenting and restoring the treasured doors. A chronology of Ghiberti’s life completes this lavishly produced volume”


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