The Second Set of Doors at the Baptistery

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The maintenance and completion of the Baptistery of San Giovanni, one of the oldest and most significant buildings in Florence, was entrusted to the Arte del Calimala Guild. This wool merchants’ guild was the oldest of Florentine guilds and was extremely powerful and wealthy. This wealth and power was due in large part to the fact that Florence was the fabric capitol of Italy. The Baptistery was dedicated to Florence’s patron saint John the Baptist. Consequently, the first set of doors created by Andrea Pisano in 1336 depicted scenes from the life of Saint John the Baptist and was installed on the east or main entrance side. Plans for the other two sets of doors were delayed because of the economic crash, political unrest, and the…show more content…
Documents indicate that Ghiberti and his stepfather, Bartolo di Michele, signed the contract together. The contract stated that Ghiberti must complete three panels a year. However after several years only four panels were finished, this was due to the number of commissions Ghiberti was working on at one time. Contracts required that the artist work on one piece of art at a time, Ghiberti disregarded what the contract stated, working on numerous pieces at any given time. This prompted the Calimala guild to enforce a new contract that caused Ghiberti to be the sole contractor and held him to stricter terms. The Annunciation, Nativity, Adoration of the Magi, Baptism of Christ, Agony in the Garden, were most likely cast before 1407. Between 1407 and 1413 the following were completed, the Fathers of the Church and the Evangelists, Christ among the Doctors, The Temptation of Christ in the Desert, The Crucifixion, The Last Supper. The panels that were made after 1414 included, The Expulsion of the Money Changers from the Temple, The Entry into Jerusalem, Christ before Pilate, and The Raising of Lazarus, and the heads of the prophets. The dates these panels were completed are visible because of the changes in Ghiberti’s artistic style and technique. At each intersection of the doors Ghiberti a carved head of important prophets. Ghiberti
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