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...nothing like them had been done before on the globe and through them the name of man shines everywhere.

Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise

It took him 12 years to model and cast the main reliefs and another 15 to finish them. 


1425 – 1452 CE

Michelangelo likened the gilded bronze doors of Florence’s Baptistery of San Giovanni to the “Gates of Paradise.” The phrase stuck, for reasons that anyone who has seen them will understand. Combining a goldsmith’s delicacy with a foundryman’s bravura, sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti condensed the Old Testament into ten panels to produce one of the defining masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance. Since their installation in 1452, the doors have withstood a variety of near-biblical catastrophes: a torrential flood, vandalism, overzealous polishing and caustic air pollution.

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Baptistery of San Giovanni | florenc, italy

How far back?

Point in Timeline 86%

2020 | Present