Christ Walks upon the Water Lorenzo Ghiberti Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Christ Walks upon the Water is unusual for artist Lorenzo Ghiberti in that he depicts elements of a ship for the first time

Ghiberti's north doors were devoted to the life of Christ and this scene is perhaps one of the most miraculous of his content. Christ stands alongside the boat, as if hovering on the water. Others look on in amazement from their ship, with artist Lorenzo Ghiberti including elements of the back of the boat plus its large sail.

The way in which he depicts the sea is very similar to the rocky landscapes found in some of the other panels for this series of doors. They would eventually be located in the north end of the Florence Baptistery, hence the term given to them of North Doors.

Only some elements of the original gilt still remain on Christ himself and parts of the ship's sail, with most lost to years of pollution as a result of the doors being displayed outside. Nowadays they have been replaced by replicas, with the originals preserved indoors for future art followers to appreciate in the best condition possible.

To learn more about the various stages of the Renaissance, besides just the exceptional contributions of Lorenzo Ghiberti, it is worth looking at the likes of Giorgione, Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Annibale Carracci. Italy, or the papal states as it was then, had perhaps a bigger impact on the development of art than any region has ever had, be it in sculpture, fresco painting or architecture.