Lorenzo Ghiberti By: John Reilly


  • Ghiberti was born in Pelago, Italy
  • He was born in the year 1378
  • Lorenzo Ghiberti spent the majority of his life in Florence, Italy as he worked on the Gates of Paradise for twenty years
  • Ghiberti received training as a goldsmith from his "father"(his mother was married to... and he died, so she remarried another man who Ghiberti considers his father), and he also received training as a painter
  • He had a very wealthy lifestyle as an adult because he made a lot of money off of commissions and he was a great businessman and salesman in his meetings
  • Lorenzo Ghiberti created great sculptures, such as St. John and John the Baptist, but he also made great architecture such as the Gates of Paradise, which was a pair of bronze doors
  • One patron for Lorenzo was Pope Martin V, who commissioned him to create a morse and a mittre because of his training as a goldsmith
  • Another patron was the merchant's guild, who was responsible for upholding the baptistery in Florence, who had Ghiberti make a second pair of bronze doors after the Gates of Paradise
  • Perspectivism is closely tied to Ghiberti because in many of his pieces, such as the Gates of Paradise, he uses perspective to create the illusion of depth (in the Gates of Paradise the mountain in the background creates depth)
  • He also uses humanism, because he took a very humanistic approach in his second pair of doors that he created

Gates of Paradise

  • The name of the piece is the Gates of Paradise, which at first was actually a description by Michelangelo
  • The piece was created over a span of just under twenty years because Ghiberti legally got his commission in 1407 and finished the doors with the bronze panels in 1424
  • Today, the bronze panels on the doors can be viewed in the Cathedral of Florence, which is the same Cathedral where some famous dome by a guy named Brunelleschi was made :), there are also many pictures in textbooks for art classes and online of the bronze panel
  • The piece is very significant because it was hard to get the commission in the first place since the last two artists left were Ghiberti and Brunelleschi, also on top of this, the piece was for the church and it needed to wow spectators since the church did not have as much power as it did in the Middle Ages
  • This piece of architecture is fascinating because of the detail he achieved by just carving the figures out on a bronze plate. It is also amazing how Ghiberti was able to create depth on a bronze panel, by carving a mountian, and also giving the panel a texture when he made it low relief. It must have taken a lot of talent and precision to be able to create such a beautiful piece of art flawlessly. He also had to be very patient because it would be very easy to get bored and give up if you were to work on the same project for 20 years!
  • Perspectivism is the most important to the Gates of Paradise because Lorenzo used linear perspective when he carved the mountain to create an illusion of depth
  • I find the Gates of Paradise to be a very interesting piece of architecture because it amazes me how Ghiberti was able to execute such a complex and detailed design in such a flawless manner
  • You can go and find the bronze doors at the Cathedral of Florence, and there are pictures in art textbooks, there is also an excerpt of the doors at http://www.artic.edu/aic/exhibitions/ghiberti/themes.html.

Works Cited

Ghiberti, Lorenzo, Gates of Paradise. 1424, bronze panel, Cathedral of Florence, Florence.

“Lorenzo Ghiberti.” Google Image Search. 05 December 2016

"Lorenzo Ghiberti." Lorenzo Ghiberti. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2016.

Lorenzo Ghiberti's Renaissance Masterpiece. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2016.

Lowenthal, Constance. "Lorenzo Ghiberti." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2016.

"The Gates of Paradise: Lorenzo Ghiberti's Renaissance Masterpiece." The Gates of Paradise:

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