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The Florence Baptistery’s Famous Doors

The religious building, the Florence Baptistery, is known for its doors designed by two artists, Andrea Pisano and Lorenzo Ghiberti. The Baptistery is recognized as a minor basilica and is located in Italy. In addition, it is one of the oldest buildings in the city, which is relatively preserved satisfactorily but is still renovated from time to time. Overall, the famous Baptistery doors in the basilica’s north, south, and east wings are complemented with relief sculptures that bring different meanings to each side of the building.

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To begin with, the south doors of the Florence Baptistery are the work of Andrea Pisano. His design incorporates numerous geometric figures that frame sculptures on the whole surface of the door (Web Gallery of Art, 2022). To be more particular, Pisano integrated twenty narrative scenes that share religious implications. The story starts with Annunciation to Zachariasand and ends with the Burial of the Baptist (The Museums of Florence, 2022). Pisano’s design is meaningful and essential to Florentines, considering that it simultaneously integrates religious and civic symbols (Web Gallery of Art, 2022). The east doors, designed by Lorenzo Ghiberti, were named the Gates of Paradise by Michelangelo. Similarly, the artist combined biblical scenes on the surface of the door in two rows within ten frames (Web Gallery of Art, 2022; The Museums of Florence, 2022). However, Ghiberti also included meaningful religious sculptures in between the square-shaped episodes (The Museums of Florence, 2022). The gold scenes of the Baptistery’s east doors present the Story of Adam and Eve, the Story of David, the Story of Moses, and more.

Overall, Pisano and Ghiberti both produced exceptional pieces of art and brought religious meanings to the entrances of the Florence Baptistery. Still, artists opted for different directions of expression: Pisano was more subtle, with cool tones for the biblical scenes, while Ghiberti created an eye-catching gold masterpiece. In addition, both sculptors used different styles for their episodes: Ghiberti presented more detailed biblical scenes compared to Pisano.


The Museums of Florence. (2022). Baptistery of San Giovanni – Florence. Web.

Web Gallery of Art. (2022). The Florence Baptistery Doors. Web.

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