Biography of Lorenzo Ghiberti (1378-1455)

Sculptor, architect and Italian writer, born in Florence in 1378. It began its activity as Goldsmith when he is in Pessaro, at the service of the Montefeltro, until 1401 returns to Florence to participate in the contest of the second door of the baptistery, where is Victor together with Brunelleschi, who renounces the execution of the work in a shared manner, but then both will collaborate in the implementation of the dome of the Cathedral (1430-1436).

It is the first sculptor of humanistic formation, although it will not be the first to correctly formulate the principles of the new representation in perspective, this task will correspond you to Donatello, in 1420, with its relief San Jorge and the Dragon. At the second door of the baptistery, built between 1403 and 1424, Ghiberti, following the model of Andrea Pisano, burden it in 28 panels, and performed scenes with a figurative which originally renews the naturalistic tendencies of the late Gothic. This prestigious work makes that large number of orders, organizing an active workshop rein you. From this period (1414-1429), are the works for the Church of Orsanmichele in San Juan Bautista, San Mateo and San Esteban, as well as reliefs for the baptismal font of Siena of the baptism of Christ and the Baptist to Herod.

Gate of the paradise of the baptistery of San Juan, in the Cathedral of Florence, Lorenzo Ghiberti's.

In 1425 receives the assignment to the third door of the baptistery of Florence, whose beauty made that Miguel Ángel appoint them as the doors of paradise, denomination that are known popularly. Carried out after the experience of Donatello, Ghiberti, in released of any link with the medieval art, abandoning the traditional partitioning by a rectangular frame, where you can develop the geometric system of perspective. The scenographic funds are represented by classical architectural compositions, seen in perspective, at the time that decrease the scale of the figures as they move away.

In the last years of his life he composed a treatise of three books, reviews. The first book, somewhat archaic, includes norms, rules, and information about the art of antiquity, derived from the knowledge of the old treaties of Vitruvius and Pliny. The second book, of great interest, represents the first history of modern art, where with great sharpness and a direct knowledge, looks at the great artistic personalities of the Trecento and Quattrocento. In the third book, incomplete, it's optical, Anatomy and the proportions theory, based on the treaties of antiquity and the middle ages.

Ghiberti. Sacrifice of Isaac. Second door of the baptistery of Florence.

Ghiberti. The creation of Eve. Third door of the baptistery of Florence.


BRUNETTI, g.: Ghiberti: diamonds of the art. Barcelona, 1971.

CECHI, e.: The sculpture Florentine where. Mexico, 1961.