Lorenzo Ghiberti

Seana Gosselin


Lorenzo Ghiberti was born in Pelago Italy in 1378. However, he spent most of his life in Florence, Italy as a sculpture, goldsmith, architect, painter, and writer. He was trained by his father, Bartoluccio Ghiberti who was a well-respected goldsmith in Florence. In 1392, He was admitted to the "Silk and Gold" Guild as an apprentice and became a master gold smith. He received further training as a painter. Lorenzo was a student of humanism and put much of its philosophy into his art work. His most famous pieces of work were the "Gates of Paradise" and " Baptistery North Doors"

Baptistery North Doors

The doors were commissioned to Ghiberti in 1403 and completed in 1424. On the Baptistery North Doors there are twenty eight scenes from the New Testament. The figures are gilded and set in high relief against a neutral background. There are border strips separating the panels that are filled with vegetable and animal life, along with forty eight heads of male and female profits at the intersections. Visitors can visit the Baptistery North Doors at St. Johns Baptistery in Florence, Italy. This work of art shows secularism because it was created in three dimensions.


Baptistery, North Doors. 1403. Photograph. ARTstor, n.p.

Gates of Paradise

The "Gates of Paradise" is one of Lorenzo Ghiberti's most famous works. The doors were created between 1425 and 1437, and were completed in 1452 when they were installed at the Baptistery in Florence. Michelangelo is said to have remarked that the doors were worthy of being the gates of Paradise and since then they have been called "Gates of Paradise". The doors have ten large squares, showing scenes from the Old Testament and a self portrait of the sculptor, all cast in bronze. I find this piece interesting because the doors combine sculpture and pictures that tell the story from the Old Testament. This art work represents humanism because one of the first scenes shows the story of Adam and Eve and the beginning of man.


Gates of Paradise Right Door Border, Joshua. 1403. Photograph. ARTstor, Museo Dell'Opera Del Duomo Florence.

Writing Citations:

"Lorenzo Ghiberti." Merriam Webster's Biographical Dictionary. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1995. Biography in Context. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.

"Lorenzo Ghiberti." International Dictionary of Architects and Architecture. Gale, 1993. Biography in Context. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.

"Lorenzo Ghiberti Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.