суббота, 28 декабря 2019 г.

Monumental doors of Florence Baptistry finally reunited after 40 years of restoration


The three massive sets of doors from the Florence Baptistry, which had been separated for nearly 30 years for restoration work, are now back together at the Museo dell'Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, the vestry in which the Duomo, the Cupola del Brunelleschi, the Campanile di Giotto, and the Baptistry take part.

Monumental doors of Florence Baptistry finally reunited after 40 years of restoration
Credit: Opera del Duomo Florence/Claudio Giovannini
The bronze masterpieces measure about 5 metres tall and 3 metres wide, and were made between 1330 and 1452.


Visitors can now admire the doors next to each other in the museum's Sala del Paradiso, the same place that already held the two sets of doors made by Lorenzo Ghiberti, the north and east doors.

Monumental doors of Florence Baptistry finally reunited after 40 years of restoration
Credit: Opera del Duomo Florence/Claudio Giovannini
The east doors, which are the more recent and more famous of the sets, are known as the Gates of Paradise and were allegedly given their name by Michelangelo due to their beauty.

Now the south doors, the oldest of the three, have also arrived. Those doors were made by Andrea Pisano, a student and collaborator of Giotto.

Monumental doors of Florence Baptistry finally reunited after 40 years of restoration
Credit: Opera del Duomo Florence/Claudio Giovannini
The restoration work on the south doors, like that for the other two sets, was performed by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence. The 1.5-million-euro cost of the restoration was financed by the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore.


The return of the south doors marks the completion of a restoration project that began in 1978, when the first work started on the Gates of Paradise - finished only in 2012, due to its complexity - the first to be removed from its original location in 1990.

Monumental doors of Florence Baptistry finally reunited after 40 years of restoration
Credit: Opera del Duomo Florence/Claudio Giovannini
Restoration on the south doors took three years, the same as for the north doors, to bring back to light what remained of its beautiful gilding.

In the lower section, for example, some areas of gilding had been worn down by contact with hands over time.

Monumental doors of Florence Baptistry finally reunited after 40 years of restoration
Credit: Opera del Duomo Florence/Claudio Giovannini
In addition, the restoration brought back marvelous details in the sculptural areas made with such passionate care that they almost seem like a prayer.


The recently restored set of doors was created by Pisano between 1330 and 1336. They are made up of 28 panels, 20 of which depict scenes from the life of St. John the Baptist and eight with emblematic figures, interspersed with 74 friezes.

Monumental doors of Florence Baptistry finally reunited after 40 years of restoration
Credit: Opera del Duomo Florence/Claudio Giovannini
There are also 48 lions' heads, the symbol of Florence, one of which was lost in the 1966 flood, which severely damaged the three sets of doors of the Baptistry, which Dante affectionately referred to in his Divine Comedy as "my beautiful Saint John".

After Pisano completed the south set of doors, he was entrusted with the most important Florentine sculptures of the century.

Monumental doors of Florence Baptistry finally reunited after 40 years of restoration
Credit: Opera del Duomo Florence/Claudio Giovannini
Following Giotto's death, he was charged with continuing the works on the Campanile, where, with the help of his collaborators, he completed eight of the large statues and 48 of the 52 reliefs.

The originals of those are also on display at the Museo dell'Opera.

Source: ANSA [December 10, 2019]



* This article was originally published here

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