The Florence Baptistery

The present building was built between 1059 and 1128 in a style known as Florentine Romanesque, which featured round arches supported by short columns, and marble panels. As with many Italian baptisteries, this one replaced others on the site that were not considered grand enough: the first dates from the late fourth/fifth century.
The greatest draw for visitors are the three bronze doors. The south doors were created by Andrea Pisano. Lorenzo Ghiberti won the competition in 1401 to create the north doors, showing the life of Christ. In 1425 he was then asked to create the east doors, showing Old Testament scenes.
  We will look at the south door on this page, then move on to the North and East doors and the interior on the following ones.

The South Doors
  The door consists of 28 panels. Pisano took six years, from 1329 to 1336, to complete them. The top twenty show scenes from the life of John the Baptist: the eight beneath them show depictions of the virtues: Hope, faith, charity, humility, fortitude, temperance, justice and prudence. Above the door is a sculpture showing the beheading of the Baptist. Here is selection of the panels: to see them all follow this link to an external website. 

Birth of the Baptist

The Baptist in the Wilderness

Baptism of Christ

Dance of Salome


On to the North and East doors, and the interior

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