Lorenzo Ghiberti

Sculptor, goldsmith, architect, painter, and writer

Who was he?

He was an Italian sculptor, goldsmith, architect, painter and writer. Ghiberti was born in 1381 and died in 1455 both in Florence. One of his most famous works, The Gates of Paradise, were a set of bronze doors on the east side of the Baptistery of Florence.


Ghiberti learned goldsmith's trade from Bartolucci de Michele and was accepted into the goldsmith's guild in 1409. He was also accepted into the painter's guild in 1423 and stonemason's guild in 1427.

His art

Lorenzo Ghiberti was mainly a sculptor. Some of his works include the Gates of Paradise, Baptistery North Doors, and The "Commentarii". One of Ghiberti's most famous patron was Cosimo de' Medici.

His life

Ghiberti lived in Florence for most of his life. In 1400, he moved to Romagna to avoid the plague and to help other artists. He returned to Florence the following year.

Humanism and Secularism

Throughout most of his work, a large amount of humanism and secularism is demonstrated. In the Gates of Paradise, there are nude figures of Eve and along with other figures. In the North Doors, Ghiberti included non-religous ideas through most of the piece. This is humanism because God or gods do not impact the everyday as much. Also, throughout his art, there are different ideas that are non-religious which is secularism.

Gates of Paradise

This piece was started in 1425 but the doors were not installed until 1452. There are 10 scenes painted on the doors. The scenes consist of different stories from the Bible such as Creation of Adam, Creation of Eve, and The Expulsion from the Garden. Ghiberti used Brunelleschi and Leon Battista Alberti's method of flowing the scene into the next panel in correct perspective.

Baptistery North Doors

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East Door of the Gates of Paradise

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My Thoughts

I think that these two pieces are really incredible because of the amount of time and effort put into them. The Gates of Paradise took 27 years until it was installed into the Baptistery of Florence.


"Lorenzo Ghiberti." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Biography in Context. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.

"Lorenzo Ghiberti." International Dictionary of Architects and Architecture. Gale, 1993. Biography in Context. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.

"Lorenzo Ghiberti." Merriam Webster's Biographical Dictionary. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1995. Biography in Context. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.