Title page for ETD etd-04202011-155813

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Cambas , Sarah P
URN etd-04202011-155813
Title Priceless Portals: The Bronze Doors of the Florentine Baptistery
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Art
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Zucker, Mark J Committee Chair
Mauck, Marchita B Committee Member
Savage, Matthew Committee Member
  • Florentine Baptistery
  • Andrea Pisano
  • Lorenzo Ghiberti
  • Gates of Paradise
  • bronze doors
  • north doors
  • south doors
  • east doors
  • portals
Date of Defense 2011-04-13
Availability unrestricted
The Baptistery of San Giovanni represents a complex historical precedent for Italian Renaissance art. Located within the heart of Florence, across from the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in the Piazza del Duomo, the Baptistery holds three sets of gilded bronze doors spanning more than a century: the south set of doors by Andrea Pisano, and the north and east sets of doors by Lorenzo Ghiberti. The stylistic qualities and compositional sources of each door have been the subject of much discussion since their completion, and these are re-examined in this paper. Special attention is also devoted to the Arte di Calimala, the prominent Florentine guild that commissioned the doors and dictated repairs to and restorations of the Baptistery during the most notable period in its history. My thesis explores the significance of the patron for the meaning of the doors, as well as investigates the position of each door in its respective setting. By means of detailed analyses of comparable works and a historical interpretation of the individuals and organizations involved, I attempt to provide a fresh perspective on the sources and significance of the priceless bronze doors of the Florentine Baptistery.
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