Cambridge University Press publishes Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise
Humanism, History, and Artistic Philosophy in the Italian Renaissance
by Amy R. Bloch.

From the publisher:

This book examines the heretofore unsuspected complexity of Lorenzo Ghiberti’s sculpted representations of Old Testament narratives in his Gates of Paradise (1425–1452), the second set of doors he made for the Florence Baptistery and a masterpiece of Italian Renaissance sculpture. One of the most intellectually engaged and well-read artists of his age, Ghiberti found inspiration in ancient and medieval texts, many of which he and his contacts in Florence’s humanist community shared, read, and discussed. He was fascinated by the science of vision, by the functioning of nature, and, above all, by the origins and history of art. These unusually well-defined intellectual interests, reflected in his famous Commentaries, shaped his approach in the Gates. Through the selection, imaginative interpretation, and arrangement of biblical episodes, Ghiberti fashioned multi-textured narratives that explore the human condition and express his ideas on a range of social, political, artistic, and philosophical issues.

* Contains the most detailed examination ever published of one of the great masterpieces of Italian Renaissance sculpture

* Offers readers a new vision of the role of the early fifteenth-century artist – the artist, in this case, participated directly in fashioning the meaning of the work – and presents the first intellectual portrait of any early fifteenth-century artist

* Discusses the vast traditions of Old Testament interpretation (in text and image), giving readers a sense of how understanding and representation of the Old Testament have changed over centuries.

Gates of Paradise, gilded bronze, 1425-52. Baptistery, Florence

Creation of Adam and Eve

Discovery of the Golden Cup

Solomon and the Queen of Sheba

Posted by Anne Leader

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