GHIBERTI, Lorenzo
(b. 1378, Firenze, d. 1455, Firenze)

North Doors

1401-25
Bronze
Baptistry, Florence

Ghiberti received his contract for the north doors of the Baptistry in 1403. Modelling, casting, gilding, and finishing of the doors lasted until 1424, when they were finally installed on the east face of the Baptistry facing the Cathedral. Like the southern doors by Andrea Pisano, the northern doors are also divided into 28 panels, depicting stories from the life of Christ and the Doctors of the Church. Above the doors, St John preaching (1510) by Rustici, a pupil of Leonardo.

Over the twenty-one years Ghiberti spent creating the reliefs, his ideas for them evolved. The Adoration of the Magi from earlier in the modeling history of the doors show Ghiberti generally indebted to Andrea Pisano's interpretation of the Gothic in the south doors of the Baptistry. In the Flagellation of Christ, one of the last reliefs to be designed, Ghiberti returned to a frontal composition with great effect.