Ghiberti's Gates Of Paradise Banner
Upper Design
Main Page
Panel 1 Story 1
Panel 2 Story 2
Panel 3 Story 3
Panel 4 Story 4
Panel 5 Story 5
Panel 6 Story 6
Panel 7 Story 7
Panel 8 Story 8
Panel 9 Story 8
Panel 10 Story 10
Lower Design

The Story Of The "Gates Of Paradise"
Grace Cathedral, on Knob Hill, San Francisco

This website it for the purpose of detailing the beauty, artistry, history of, and explaining the stories depicted on The "Gates Of Paradise". These bronze doors are a direct casting from the work of the famous renaissance sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti of Florence, Italy. The original bronze doors took 27 years to complete (1425-1452), yet the result was so outstanding, Michelangelo reportedly said that they were "Worthy of Paradise", and so were named the "Gates Of Paradise". They were hung on the east side of the Baptistery, in the place of highest honor, facing "Il Duomo," Florence's monumental green and white marble cathedral. Ghiberti had just finished work on the other set of doors for the same building, which had taken only 20 years to complete. He had whole team of craftsmen working for these important commissions, so the cost must have been astronomical. During W W II the doors were taken down and stored away, and when they were brought back in the late 40's, latex molds were made and copies were eventually placed back on the baptistery. The only other copy was purchased by Grace Cathedral in the 1960's, completing the long awaited final new construction which started half a century earlier, in the aftermath of the Earthquake and Fire of 1906, when the original Grace Church was destroyed.

Representing the height of Renaissance bronze work, each door weighs 27,000 pounds, being made of bronze with gold plating. They were made using the original lost wax technique. There are 10 main panels depicting familiar Old Testament stories. Intricately detailed sculpting, tooling and relief along with

the 15th Century's newly discovered principles of perspective give these panels a dynamic three dimensional look. The photography and design of this website is by Chaz Hawley except for Ghiberti's self-portrait, which is from the internet. (see the "decoration" page.)


right frame
bottom frame
link to introductory paragraph