The Gates of Paradise: Lorenzo Ghiberti's Renaissance Masterpiece (High Museum of Art Series) (英語) ハードカバー – 2007/8/2
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In 1452, Florentine sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti unveiled a masterpiece that had been a quarter-century in the making: ten bronze panels depicting intricate scenes from the Old Testament. The monumental gilded bronze doors (each more than 15 feet tall) were designed for the Baptistery in the Piazza del Duomo in Florence. Centuries of admirers have considered The Gates of Paradise” one of the great masterworks of Western art.
This extensively illustrated book displays the full glory and elaborate details of many of the newly restored bronze panels, the extraordinary work of the conservators and restorers who cleaned the priceless doors. In a series of fascinating chapters, expert contributors capture Ghiberti’s world, his remarkable talent at representing human emotion in rich illusionistic settings, the relationships between Renaissance patrons and artists, and the collaborations and rivalries among artists. Other chapters explore the challenging craft of bronze sculpture, Ghiberti’s casting and finishing techniques, and the painstaking process involved in documenting and restoring the treasured doors. A chronology of Ghiberti’s life completes this lavishly produced volume.
Gary M. Radke is Dean’s Professor of the Humanities, Syracuse University. He is editor of a book on Verrocchio’s David and co-author of Art, Power, and Patronage in Renaissance Florence, among many other publications on Italian Renaissance art.
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The book contains very readable essays on the artist Ghiberti and on the art and innovation in his amazing reliefs. In his essay, Andrew Butterfield offers scholars and students who still put their trust in Richard Krautheimer's 1956 book on Ghiberti (the 1970 hardcover and the 1983 paperback editions are still available) convincing arguments --based on the latest research-- to question Krautheimer's methods and results (in despite of their overall importance) which are largely based on Krautheimer's basic principal of the "single-point perspective". Mr. Butterfield argues that "single-point perspective" is a system intended for the projection of space on a two-dimensional surface, whereas relief sculptures are three-dimensional and have complex surfaces. It's a basic problem that figures in a relief must have real three-dimensional volume, and consequently there must be a projection at the bottom of a relief for these figures to stand on. This being rather self-evident for us now, Mr. Butterfield pursues his point by explaining the requirements of narrative and setting that Ghiberti faced, and fulfilled, among them the direct confrontation of but a few (usually two) figures in one scene of a relief, against the necessary depiction of large groups of figures in events in the biblical history of a nation or people in another scene of the same relief. All this is connected with Ghiberti's other primary concerns: legibility and a desire for clarity. Which stresses the need to look beyond the prejudicial notion that Ghiberti was in essence a Gothic and conservative artist, as advocated a.o. by J. Pope-Hennessy ("Italian Gothic Sculpture", 1986).
Gary M. Radke's essay explores the realms of collaboration Ghiberti had to enter into and looked for. In his days, most public commissions knew a high amount of interaction and Ghiberti had manipulative relations with his patrons, at the same time furthering his own best interests. Furthermore, this book explores historical documentation on the Gates of Paradise, reconsiders the creative sequence of Ghiberti's doors, documents the now almost finished restauration and examines both Ghiberti's art of chasing and casting technique of the Gates of Paradise reliefs, abundantly supplied with photographs and illustrations giving overviews and many details of each relief under survey. There also is a chronology of Ghiberti's life. See "The New York Review of Books", Vol. LIV, Nr. 17, November 8, 2007 for a more professional review of this catalogue.