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High Museum Plans ExhibitionOf Ghiberti's 'Gates Of Paradise' 



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High Museum Plans Exhibition

Of Ghiberti’s ‘Gates Of Paradise’


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Lorenzo Ghiberti, “Gates of Paradise,” gilt bronze, 1425–52. Collection of the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo. Image courtesy Opificio delle Pietre Dure, Florence.


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Lorenzo Ghiberti, Creation panel, “Gates of Paradise,” Gilt bronze, 1425–52, 31½ by 31½ inches. Collection of the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo. Image courtesy Opificio delle Pietre Dure, Florence.


November 10

High Museum Plans Exhibition of Ghiberti’s ‘Gates of Paradise’

Set 11/1; WD/KFR; #675723

ATLANTA, GA. — The High Museum of Art, in collaboration with the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore and the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence, Italy, said that it is developing an exhibition of three newly restored panels from Lorenzo Ghiberti’s celebrated “Gates of Paradise.” After more than 25 years of restoration work, this will be the first and only time that original panels from the “Gates of Paradise” will travel to the United States since their creation more than 500 years ago.

“The Gates of Paradise: Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Renaissance Masterpiece” intends to explore how Ghiberti created the doors and the processes that have been used to restore these 550-year-old masterpieces.

The exhibition will premiere in Atlanta April 28, and remain on view through July 15. The exhibition is tentatively scheduled to travel to the Art Institute of Chicago and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Once returned to Florence, the three “Gates of Paradise” panels will be reassembled in their original framework and placed in a specially designed, hermetically sealed case in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo — never to travel again.

Created in the mid Fifteenth Century and installed in the eastern portal of the Florentine Baptistery, the “Gates of Paradise” are among the most beloved works in Western art. The doors’ composition and design reflect the new artistic sensibility that pervaded Florentine painting and sculpture throughout the Renaissance.

Of the ten original bronze panels that illustrate scenes from the Old Testament in high and low relief, the exhibition will showcase three panels from the left door depicting stories of Adam and Eve, Jacob and Esau, and Saul and David. The exhibition will also feature two standing prophets and two idealized heads from the doors’ splendid frame.

The “Gates of Paradise” were created using the lost wax technique, where a detailed wax model is imbedded in plaster or other heat resistant materials and then melted away, so that liquid metal can be poured into the vacant spaces previously occupied by the wax. Ghiberti cast the doors in bronze and then gilt the entire surface of the reliefs to create various pictorial effects and emphasize perspective. The ten reliefs contain a range of figures, some nearly in the round extending outward from the panel, some seemingly etched in the surface in extremely low relief.

For information, 404-733-4437 or www.high.org.

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