- Series: High Museum of Art Series
- Hardcover: 184 pages
- Publisher: Yale University Press; First Edition edition (August 2, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0300126158
- ISBN-13: 978-0300126150
- Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1.1 x 12.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #616,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Gates of Paradise: Lorenzo Ghiberti's Renaissance Masterpiece (High Museum of Art Series) Hardcover – August 2, 2007
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Created between 1425 and 1452, Lorenzo Ghiberti's series of bronze relief panels for the east doors of the Florence Baptistery are a touchstone of Western art, influencing sculptors and painters throughout the Renaissance and beyond. Surprisingly little scholarship has been done on the panels, however, in part because for centuries they were covered almost beyond recognition by layers of accumulated grime. Restored in the 1950s, they were damaged in 1966 by the flood of the Arno and subsequently removed from public view once again. It's that woeful state of affairscombined with a current American tour of several of the re-restored panelsthat makes Radke's thoughtful and beautifully illustrated volume so welcome. Erudite yet accessible essays illuminate Ghiberti's quest for the original commission (beating out his great rival, Filippo Brunelleschi, architect of the nearby Duomo), his painstaking work processes, his selective use of perspective, and the ingenious, often emotional ways in which he interpreted the Old Testament stories that the panels illustrate. Nance, Kevin
About the Author
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.
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Top customer reviews
The book contains very readable essays on the artist Ghiberti and on the art and innovation in his amazing reliefs. In his essay, Andrew Butterfield offers scholars and students who still put their trust in Richard Krautheimer's 1956 book on Ghiberti (the 1970 hardcover and the 1983 paperback editions are still available) convincing arguments --based on the latest research-- to question Krautheimer's methods and results (in despite of their overall importance) which are largely based on Krautheimer's basic principal of the "single-point perspective". Mr. Butterfield argues that "single-point perspective" is a system intended for the projection of space on a two-dimensional surface, whereas relief sculptures are three-dimensional and have complex surfaces. It's a basic problem that figures in a relief must have real three-dimensional volume, and consequently there must be a projection at the bottom of a relief for these figures to stand on. This being rather self-evident for us now, Mr. Butterfield pursues his point by explaining the requirements of narrative and setting that Ghiberti faced, and fulfilled, among them the direct confrontation of but a few (usually two) figures in one scene of a relief, against the necessary depiction of large groups of figures in events in the biblical history of a nation or people in another scene of the same relief. All this is connected with Ghiberti's other primary concerns: legibility and a desire for clarity. Which stresses the need to look beyond the prejudicial notion that Ghiberti was in essence a Gothic and conservative artist, as advocated a.o. by J. Pope-Hennessy ("Italian Gothic Sculpture", 1986).
Gary M. Radke's essay explores the realms of collaboration Ghiberti had to enter into and looked for. In his days, most public commissions knew a high amount of interaction and Ghiberti had manipulative relations with his patrons, at the same time furthering his own best interests. Furthermore, this book explores historical documentation on the Gates of Paradise, reconsiders the creative sequence of Ghiberti's doors, documents the now almost finished restauration and examines both Ghiberti's art of chasing and casting technique of the Gates of Paradise reliefs, abundantly supplied with photographs and illustrations giving overviews and many details of each relief under survey. There also is a chronology of Ghiberti's life. See "The New York Review of Books", Vol. LIV, Nr. 17, November 8, 2007 for a more professional review of this catalogue.
A must read if you're going to see the panels or doors...