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The Baptistery of San Giovanni in Florence

A. Giusti

12,00 €

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by A. Giusti

publication year: 2000
paperback
150x225 mm; 128 pp.
over 200 colour illustrations

88-85957-55-2 English
88-85957-54-4 French N/A
88-85957-57-9 German N/A
88-85957-53-6 Italian

From the earlies times the Baptistery constituted the heart of Florence’s spiritual life. Today it is both a surprise and a challenge for tourist and scholar alike. A masterpiece of architecture whose beginnings go back to the Dark Ages, its decoration claimed the work of generations of artists and made it into a tangible example of Florence’s main achievements in the field of art: from its Romanesque sheathing of green and white marble to its Mannerist statuary, from the Byzantine and medieval imprint of its mosaics to the ambitious casting of its three sets of bronze doors, authored by the Gothic artist Andrea Pisano and by the versatile genius Lorenzo Ghiberti.

The author follows the artistic development of this building shrouded in legend, devoting space to recent archaeological finds, and revealing the deep and ancient bond linking the Baptistery to the history of Florence. The many illustrations allow the reader to appreciate all the details which might escape when he is confronted with the Baptistery’s majestic and breathtaking cycle of mosaics narrating stories from the Bible. The final section is devoted to the Baptistery Treasure. This array of statues, gold-work, furnishings and vestments is now on view in the newly refurbished rooms of the Opera del Duomo Museum.

Annamaria Giusti is an expert in the field of conservation and restoration. She has dedicated a number of critical works to this subject, as well as writing on Medieval painting and mosaics, and on the Florentine tradition of inlay work with semi-precious stones. She is Curator of Florence’s Opificio delle Pietre Dure Museum.