Baptistery of Florence

   A Romanesque octagonal structure, built at the end of the 11th century over the ancient ruins of a fifth-century Roman temple dedicated to Mars. Clad in the exterior with two-toned marble and dedicated to St. John the Baptist, patron saint of the city of Florence, the structure served as the place where all Florentine citizens were baptized. In the 13th century, a major decorative campaign to embellish the building's interior was launched. The octagonal vault was covered with mosaics that depict scenes from the Creation, the Last Judgment, angels, apostles, and the lives of Patriarch Joseph, St. John the Baptist, and Christ, all arranged in concentric bands. Above the altar is a large figure of Christ as judge, sitting on a rainbow and enclosed in a heavenly circle. These mosaics have been attributed to Coppo di Marcovaldo, though some believe them to have been executed by masters from Venice, where the medium was more commonly used. In 1330-1334, the sculptor Andrea Pisano was commissioned to create a set of gilded bronze doors for the Baptistery, composed of 14 rectangular reliefs. The upper 10 panels represent scenes from the life of the Baptist, from the announcement of his birth made to his father Zacharias, to his decollation and burial. The remaining lower panels contain the Virtues.In 1401, a major competition was launched for the execution of the Baptistery's east doors. It was won by Lorenzo Ghiberti who submitted a Sacrifice of Isaac panel that conformed to the new classicism expected in art. In 1425-1452, Ghiberti also executed the final set of doors that led from the Baptistery to the Cathedral of Florence, called the Gates of Paradise.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

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  • Gates of Paradise, Baptistery of Florence — (1425 1452)    Executed by Lorenzo Ghiberti, the Gates of Paradise were the last set of bronze doors commissioned for the Baptistery of Florence. Initially, Ghiberti was asked to include 28 scenes from the Old Testament enclosed in quatrefoil… …   Dictionary of Renaissance art

  • Florence Baptistry — The Florence Baptistry or Battistero di San Giovanni (Baptistery of St. John) is a religious building in Florence (Tuscany), Italy, which has the status of a minor basilica. It is one of the oldest buildings in the city, built between 1059 and… …   Wikipedia

  • Baptistery — In Christian architecture the baptistery or baptistry (Latin baptisterium ) is the separate centrally planned structure surrounding the baptismal font. The baptistery may be incorporated within the body of a church or cathedral and be provided… …   Wikipedia

  • Florence — • Located in the province of Tuscany (Central Italy) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Florence     Florence     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Florence — Firenze and Florentine redirect here. For other uses, see Florentin, Florentine (disambiguation), Florence (disambiguation) or Firenze (disambiguation). Florence Firenze   Comune   …   Wikipedia

  • Florence Cathedral — Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (Italian) Basilica Sanctae Mariae Floris (Latin) …   Wikipedia

  • baptistery — /bap teuh stree, tis teuh ree/, n., pl. baptisteries. 1. a building or a part of a church in which baptism is administered. 2. (esp. in Baptist churches) a tank for administering baptism by immersion. [1425 75; < LL baptisterium < Gk baptistérion …   Universalium

  • Florence — /flawr euhns, flor /, n. 1. Italian, Firenze. a city in central Italy, on the Arno River: capital of the former grand duchy of Tuscany. 464,425. 2. a city in NW Alabama, on the Tennessee River. 37,029. 3. a city in E South Carolina. 30,062. 4. a… …   Universalium

  • Florence, cathedral of — (1296 1350s)    The Cathedral of Florence was begun by Arnolfo di Cambio in 1296. Twice the work was halted, first in 1310 when Arnolfo died, and later in 1348 when the Black Death struck. After contributions by Giotto and later Andrea Pisano, it …   Dictionary of Renaissance art

  • baptistery —    A building used for baptism in the Christian church. A famous example is the Baptistery of the Duomo, the cathedral in Florence, Italy. Also spelled baptistry …   Glossary of Art Terms

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