The Origins of Renaissance Art:
The Baptistry Doors, Florence

by Antonio Paolucci

(October 19, 1996)
Hardcover, 176 pages
13 x 10.2 x 0.8 inches

ISBN-13: 978-0807614136
$60.00 (Can: $90.00)


In April 2007, three fully restored panels from Ghiberti‘s legendary doors of the Baptistery of San Giovanni will arrive in the United States for the first and only time.  The panels, invaluable gilded bronze reliefs from the three-ton, 20-foot-tall doors, will be on view to a huge audience over the course of their travel to Atlanta, Chicago, and New York. Following this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition, the panels will return to a hermetically sealed case at the Museum dell’Opera del Duomo.

Ghiberti surmounted competition from the greatest sculptors of the age with his elegant and cohesive design to receive the commision for the east doors of the Baptistery of San Giovanni. Twenty-five years later, Ghiberti, having been influenced by his brilliant colleagues, such as Masaccio and Donatello, surpassed himself in his second set of doors, "The Gates of Paradise."

This lavish volume—containing comprehensive texts and 160 brilliant full-color illustrations—serves as an essential and much-needed introduction to one of the most important artistic and architectural landmarks of Renaissance Florence. By detailing each panel and placing them within their larger context of the doors depicting the scenes of Genesis, the book documents the exquisite artistry and craftsmanship that make these such seminal works.


Antonio Paolucci is the Superintendant of Florence’s museums and Director of the Uffizi Gallery, and served as Italian Minister of Culture. A major expert on Florentine Art, he was previously director of the Florentine office for conservation of Tuscan monuments.