Lorenzo Ghiberti (Italian: [loˈrɛntso giˈbɛrti]) (1378 – 1 December 1455), born Lorenzo di Bartolo, was an Florentine Italian artist of the Early Renaissance best known as the creator of the bronze doors of the Baptistry of Florence Cathedral, called by Michelangelo the "Gates of Paradise". Trained as a goldsmith and sculptor, he established an important workshop for sculpture in metal. His book of Commentari contains important writing on art, as well as what may be the earliest surviving autobiography by any artist.
The Florence Baptistry or Battistero di San Giovanni (Baptistry of St. John) is a religious building in Florence (Tuscany), Italy, which has the status of a minor basilica.
The octagonal Baptistry stands in both the Piazza del Duomo and the Piazza di San Giovanni, across from the Duomo cathedral and the Giotto bell tower (Campanile di Giotto). It is one of the oldest buildings in the city, built between 1059 and 1128. The architecture is in Florentine Romanesque style. Florentine style has not seen the spread of the Pisan Romanesque or Lombard, however, its influence was decisive for the subsequent development of architecture, as it formed the basis of which drew Francesco Talenti, Leon Battista Alberti, Filippo Brunelleschi and the other architects who created the ' Renaissance architecture . The Church of the Holy Apostles is a clear example, it announced for its spaciousness, as noticed by Giorgio Vasari, Renaissance themes. Therefore, in the case of the Florentine Romanesque, one can speak of "proto-renaissance", but at the same time an extreme survival of the late antique architectural tradition. Just from the pursuit of an ideal "classic" placed out of time, he creates difficulty in dating the Baptistery, similar to what occurs for other Italian medieval monuments of strong classical style, like the church of St. Alexander in Lucca or the Basilica of St. Salvatore in Spoleto with the nearby Temple of Clitumnus .
The history of Italian art is in many ways also the history of Western art. After Etruscan civilization and especially the Roman Republic and Empire that dominated this part of the world for many centuries, Italy was central to European art during the Renaissance. Italy also saw European artistic dominance in the 16th and 17th centuries with the Baroque artistic movement. It re-established a strong presence in the international art scene from the mid-19th century onwards, with movements such as the Macchiaioli, Futurism, Metaphysical, Novecento Italiano, Spatialism, Arte Povera and Transavantgarde.
Italian art has influenced several major movements throughout the centuries and has produced several great artists, including painters and sculptors. Today, Italy has an important place in the international art scene, with several major art galleries, museums and exhibitions; major artistic centres in the country include its capital city, Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan, Naples, Turin, and other cities.