During the middle of the 14th century, a cultural movement, known as the Renaissance emerged as an important impact to the beginning of a historical era. It developed during the Middle Ages in Italy and later expanded to Europe. It was around this time, from the period in mid 14th century thru 16th century, when the well-known artists, such as Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo, contributed to bringing about changes to the world of art and even inspired the term “Renaissance Men”. The word renaissance meaning “rebirth” in French, influenced the ancient Greek and Roman culture as well. So many artists began to observe the natural world attempting to capture their imagination and express ...view middle of the document...
This is the The Story of Jacob and Esau, from The Gates of Paradise, in 1425-52, by Lorenzo Ghiberti. This fine masterpiece (31.25” square) is installed in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Florence. It has been recognized by generations of artists and art historians for its portrayals from the scenes of the Old Testament. As time progressed, the seventeen-foot tall, three-ton bronze doors became known to an icon of Renaissance art, devoting to the civic and religious life in Florence. The illustration shows the three panels from the left door of the Gates of Paradise, which depicts the story of Jacob and Esau, therefore classifying it as a form of representational artwork.
In 1425, Ghiberti was persuaded to design a second pair of bronze doors for Florence’s Baptistery. It took him nearly 27 years to create both his first and second masterpiece which Michelangelo called “truly worthy to be the Gates of Paradise” for its beauty and magnificence. The narrative style and the linear perspective in which Ghiberti uses in the Gates of Paradise are through an interior view with an open space and the grouping of characters scattered in different areas across the composition with each one depicting its own emphasis as each one tells a unique story.
In the panel, Jacob becoming the founder of the Israelites by taking the birthright of his elder brother, Esau, and receiving the blessing of their father, Isaac. On the far left under the arcade, Rebekah is shown giving birth to the twins and on the top left she receiving the prophecy of her sons’ future conflict. Inside the central arch, Esau is selling his rights as firstborn to Jacob, who offers a bowl of soup in exchange to his hungry brother. In the front center of the panel, Isaac sends Esau hunting. On the right foreground, it is Jacob, who is kneeling before the blind Isaac, whom mistakenly gives the blessing to Jacob but intending to give it to his elder son, Esau. Isaac thought it was Esau because of Jacob’s hairy goatskin.
The architecture of the structures sculpted in low relief in the background is arranged systematically to the outlining of the human figures in the foreground. This space is used to give the viewer the clarity and the order of the composition. Another important detail, not to be ignored, is how the sculpted design demonstrates the element of actual texture that is nearly three-dimensional.
This masterpiece is made from gilt (golden) bronze. Ghiberti used a technique called lost-wax casting by first designing a model in wax, using a full-scaled representation. He had to undergo a long and tedious process of hammering, carving and polishing this relief. The bronze was painted with the mixture of gold dust and mercury. Some of the brushstrokes are still visible on the surface. The lighting of the final piece is bright and radiant due to the use of gold dust.
Ghiberti’s second Renaissance art piece is the Creation of Adam and Eve, 1425-52. This piece (31.25” square) was also...