- Ghiberti, Lorenzo
- (1378-1455)Florentine goldsmith and sculptor, known in his own time for his skill in casting bronze statues. His workshop trained a number of leading younger artists, notably Donatello and Paolo Uccello. Though trained as a goldsmith, he established his reputation as a sculptor by winning the competition held in 1401-1402 for the design of a set of bronze doors for the north portal of the Florentine baptistery. Upon completion of this massive project in 1424, in 1425 he received the commission for a second set of doors for the east portal. These two sets of doors are among the supreme achievements of Renaissance sculpture. Ghiberti's early work is less aesthetically and technically typical of Renaissance sculpture than the work of his pupil (and later rival) Donatello, yet the baptistery doors reflect his careful study of ancient sculpture. The first set of doors continued the International Gothic style of the late Middle Ages, but Ghiberti was sensitive to fashion. Hence the second set, popularly known as "the Gates of Paradise" and completed by 1452, reflects the spirit and techniques of the Early Renaissance style. Ghiberti produced other important bronze statues in Florence and Siena. He was fully aware of the implications of the work of Filippino Brunelleschi, his principal rival in the competition of 1401-1402, and while Brunelleschi was the inventor of the system of single-point perspective that marks the emergence of a fully Renaissance art, Ghiberti mastered and codified its principles in his Commentarii / Commentaries (ca. 1450), a pioneering autobiography that discusses both ancient and contemporary art.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.