Andrea Pisano’s South Doors arrive at Opera del Duomo Museum

All three sets of Baptistery doors are displayed side by side for the first time

Editorial Staff
December 10, 2019 - 10:44

A painstaking restoration has concluded and the fruits of this labour have made their way to the Sala del Paradiso in the Opera del Duomo Museum.

 

The three monumental bronze and gold doors of the Florence Baptistery, completed nearly 700 years ago by sculptor Andrea Pisano, have joined Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise and North Doors; all three restored sets are now displayed side by side for the first time in their history.

 

 

Restoration in progress / ph. Opera del Duomo Firenze/Claudio Giovannini

 

 

The opportunity to visit these feats of artistic and restorative accomplishment is thanks to the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, part of the Opera del Duomo Museum, who financed 1.5 million euro to dismantle, transport, restore and place the treasures in the museum. The restoration cycles on all the doors, which were originally crafted between 1330 and 1336, began as far back as 1978.

 

 

 

Returned to their former glory / ph. Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore/Claudio Giovannini

 

 

Around eight tonnes of bronze and gold, the South Doors stand at almost five metres high and nearly three metres wide, and 20 of their 28 quatrefoil panels depict episodes from the life of St. John the Baptist, patron saint of the Baptistery and Florence.

 

 

Detail from the life of St. John the Baptist

 

 

The three-year long restoration on the eight-ton bronze South Doors revealed the original gilding and revealed the details. During the flood of 1966, the door was seriously damaged: the right wing had split in two, some panels fell to the ground, and one of the 48 lion heads was lost, possibly dragged away by the water. Now, the dedication of expert restorers has brought new life to the most famous doors in Florence. 

 

 

Support The Florentine

It’s time to support The Florentine. It was April 2005 when the first issue of The Florentine hit the presses. Little did the founders know what would lie ahead: 15+ years of a magazine that is loved and respected by readers all around the world. Distributed for free around Florence and to subscribers as far away as New York and Melbourne.
The Florentine always changes with the times—that’s our promise to you.

In recent years, we have improved the monthly print magazine, polished our newsletter, fed our hyperactive social media channels and explored innovative interactive platforms to be closer to you. Every day we receive emails from Florence lovers, expressing gratitude for the work we do. Which is why we have introduced a support page, so that you can pledge directly as a gesture of goodwill for our independent journalism.

Please consider making a donation to help us continue our coverage from this city we all love.


Donation Total: €20,00

more articles

Comments