Andrea Pisano, South Gate of the Baptistery

Andrea Pisano
Sala del Paradiso
Original location
Baptistery of Saint John, exterior, south gate
Bronze, gold
Casting, gilding, chiselling, engraving, smoothing
Height: 494 cm; Width: 265 cm; Weight: 8000 kg ca.;
Bronze, gold

Door of the Baptistery cast in bronze and partially gilded by Andrea Pisano, gothic art masterpiece from the first half of the 14th century. This is the first of the monumental doors created for the Baptistery and illustrates the life of John the Baptist, the last of the prophets and the first witness to Christ. St John the Baptist is the patron saint of Florence and the Baptistery itself is dedicated to him. The double door is decorated with 28 quatrefoil panels  each depicting a single episode or a single figure. The stories are read from top to Saint Precursor who retires in the desert, and continues with his encounter with Christ and his Baptism, to conclude with his beheading and burial. The lower panels show the Cardinal and Theological virtues, with the addition of Humility, illustrating the saint’s principal virtues. The panels are framed in rosettes and lions’ heads, with the artist’s name and the date: 1330.

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Sala del Paradiso