The Gates of Paradise

Lorenzo Ghiberti's Renaissance Masterpiece

Edited by Gary M. Radke; With contributions by Andrew Butterfield, Margaret Haines, Francesco Caglioti, Annamaria Giusti, Edilberto Formigli, Salvatore Siano, Piero Bertelli, Ferdinando Marinelli, Marcello Miccio, Francesca G. Bewer, Richard E. Stone, an

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A rich account of the giant bronze doors so exquisite that Michelangelo proclaimed them suitable to serve as the “Gates of Paradise”

In 1452, Florentine sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti unveiled a masterpiece that had been a quarter-century in the making: ten bronze panels depicting intricate scenes from the Old Testament. The monumental gilded bronze doors (each more than 15 feet tall) were designed for the Baptistery in the Piazza del Duomo in Florence. Centuries of admirers have considered “The Gates of Paradise” one of the great masterworks of Western art. 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.   

Gary M. Radke is Dean’s Professor of the Humanities, Syracuse University. He is editor of a book on Verrocchio’s David and co-author of  Art, Power, and Patronage in Renaissance  Florence, among many other publications on Italian Renaissance art.


EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

High Museum of Art, Atlanta (April 28 – July 15, 2007)


The Art Institute of Chicago (July 28 – October 13, 2007)


The Metropolitan Museum of Art (October 30, 2007 – January 13, 2008)

"[An] excellent catalog."—Karen Wilkin, Wall Street Journal

"A worthy complement to this unprecedented loan exhibition. The beautifully produced volume contains insightful, accessible essays, extensively illustrated, boasting an impressive range of topics. Written by foremost experts, these scholarly contributions cover the artistry, documentation, technique, and restoration of the doors. . . . This essential book thus offers critical and compelling tribute to a once-in-a-lifetime event. Essential."—Choice

"Several diagrams and . . . photographs document the doors, their frame, and the restoration process in exquisite detail. . . . . Essays by 12 scholars and conservators cover all aspects of Ghiberti's masterpiece. Completing the volume is a chronology of Ghiberti's life. . . . Essential for all art libraries and highly recommended for academic libraries."—Library Journal

'...in tone the illustrations of these gilded masterpieces have a comfortable truth about them, and the concise clear-sighted essays combine to make this a reliable and necessary book...'  - Brian Sewell, World of Interiors

"A handsome and unusually handy catalog that may be the first book in English devoted exclusively to this masterpiece."—Roberta Smith, New York Times (Favorite Art Books of 2007)

"The refurbished doors, their history and the restoration process are described and exquisitely photographed in The Gates of Paradise."—Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Filled with groundbreaking new insight into one of the most beloved works of the Renaissance. . . . A significant contribution to Renaissance art history, as well as to Ghiberti studies."—Jennifer Wehmeier, Comitatus

"A 'must have' for those interested in early Quattrocento Florence...."—Elizabeth Pilliod, Renaissance Quarterly

Selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title from 2007
ISBN: 9780300126150
Publication Date: August 2, 2007
Co-publisher: Published in association with the High Museum of Art
184 pages, 7 3/4 x 12
269 color illus.
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