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The "Gates of Paradise": Lorenzo Ghiberti's Renaissance Masterpiece

July 28, 2007–October 14, 2007
Galleries 216-217

In 1425 Lorenzo Ghiberti was commissioned to design a pair of bronze doors for Florence's Baptistery. He labored on the task for 27 years, fashioning a masterpiece that Michelangelo called "truly worthy to be the Gates of Paradise" for its remarkable beauty and grandeur. For the past 25 years, Ghiberti's gates have undergone extensive conservation, which is now nearing completion. To celebrate the conclusion of this arduous project, three relief panels from the Gates of Paradise and sections of the doors' frieze have traveled to North America. This exhibition affords viewers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to observe Ghiberti's work up close before the individual elements are reintegrated with the rest of the doorframe and put on permanent display in a hermetically sealed room in the museum of the Florence Cathedral (Museo dell'Opera del Duomo), never to travel again.