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The Creation of Adam and Eve is one of the most significant themes in the Christian religion and Lorenzo Ghiberti makes use of it here in his bronze panel for the Gates of Paradise
The entire series for these doors concentrates on episodes from the early Christian teachings, taking in also the likes of Cain and Abel (that sits opposite this panel), The Drunkenness of Noah and Abraham and Isaac. The attention to detail in each and every one of these panels is truly extraordinary, leading to Michelangelo himself to name them the Gates of Paradise. When a true master is in awe of the creative and technical genius of an artwork, clearly it is something truly special.
Clearly, to depict one stunning story in each panel seemed to simple a task for Ghiberti and his studio assistants, and so he composed several different related episodes within each one. The theme of creation from the Book of Genesis summarises the overall piece, with the individual scenes representing the creation of adam and eve separately plus the temptation and then expulsion of the two.
In order to retain a consistent format to the doors, each panel is naturally the same dimensions, 79cm tall by 79cm wide. The medium is also the same for each, gilded bronze. At this time bronze was particularly expensive but Ghiberti held such esteem from his donors that he was to request sufficient funding in order to produce whatever he wished.
Adam and Eve feature in countless artists' ouevre from the Renaissance and Baroque periods, sometimes from the creation narrative but also sometimes taking in other moments of their well documented story. Their symbolism of innocence and temptation are two aspects that provides plenty of inspiration to an artist setting about composing a new painting, sculpture, etching or drawing. Or any other medium for that matter.
The bronze doors remain at the Baptistry in Florence, making them one of the few artworks in the world that remain in their original intended location. It is difficult to imagine a series of doors being well served by being anywhere else, particularly considering the other wealth of Renaissance art that can also be found in this artisitcally critical city.
Some of the other notable contributions on this theme included paintings and engravings by Albrecht Durer. See also The Fall of Man by Peter Paul Rubens from the Northern Renaissance plus also The Creation of Adam depicted in the world famous venue of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo.