Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise Collection

Museo Opificio delle Pietre Dure (Florence, Italy)

Lorenzo Ghiberti, Sacrifice of Isaac, 1401-1402. Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise Collection, these images were provided by the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore.

After more than twenty-five years of work, the restoration of Lorenzo Ghiberti's famous "Gates of Paradise" — the bronze East doors of the Florentine Baptistery and one of the most important sculptures of the early Italian renaissance — is nearing completion. The results of the restoration campaign will be the subject of an international symposium in Florence late in 2007 or early in 2008 when the doors will be reassembled and installed in the Museo dell' Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore. A photographic campaign was undertaken in collaboration with the Museo dell' Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore and the Opificio delle Pietre Dure to document the newly cleaned bronze panels and frieze elements. 

"These splendid new photos finally allow Ghiberti's work to be seen and studied as the three-dimensional, sculptural masterpieces they are," according to Gary M. Radke, Professor of Fine Arts at Syracuse University and Curator for Exhibitions of Italian Art at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. "Never before have we been able to study Ghiberti's works so clearly and in such exhaustive detail. Taken from a wide variety of angles and under lighting conditions that reveal the full subtlety of Ghiberti's modeling and finishing, these images will transform thinking about Ghiberti for decades to come." 

Artstor was able to support the comprehensive photographic documentation of the Gates of Paradise in their restored state. This photographic campaign — executed by the photographer, Antonio Quattrone — has produced over 700 detailed photographs of Ghiberti's relief sculptures. Quattrone also executed a tandem photographic campaign to document the so-called "competition panels" housed in the Museum del Bargello in Florence. These panels are renowned relief sculptures depicting the "Sacrifice of Isaac," which were produced in 1401-1402 by Ghiberti and his rival, Filippo Brunelleschi, for an earlier commission. Eighty-five color and black-and-white photographs of the competition panels have been added to the Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise Collection.