Art Analysis of Sacrifice of Isaac by Lorenzo Ghiberti Research Paper

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Art

"Sacrifice of Isaac" Analysis

This paper will focus upon Lorenzo Ghiberti and one of his artistic works called "Sacrifice of Isaac." The paper will provide a context within which to explain and evaluate this sculpture. Referencing art history, world history, and the artist's personal history, the paper will explore and analyze "Sacrifice of Isaac" as a seminal work of a famous artist that serves as a masterpiece representing the entire artistic movement at the time.

"Sacrifice of Isaac" was done in the International Gothic style This is a piece that was a part of the Early Renaissance. It was made in the early 15th century. "Sacrifice of Isaac" is specifically supposed to depict Abraham sacrificing Isaac because God commanded him to do so. The piece contains Abraham, who is moments away from stabbing Isaac with a knife. There is an angel watching this from the sky or heaven above them. There are others who are on the mountain's path having a conversation. One of the people is on a horse. The altar that Isaac is on is very ornate.

Abraham's sacrifice of his son Isaac was supposed to demonstrate or prove Abraham's faith in God. The story in the Old Testament claims that Abraham took his son Isaac upon Mount Moriah, binding him, and placing him on an altar to be sacrificed to God. At the very last moment, right as Abraham was about to kill his son, God stops Abraham, believing that he showed that he was afraid of and had faith in God. Instead of sacrificing his son, Abraham ultimately sacrifices a ram. The story of Abraham and Isaac is located in the Book of Genesis in the Bible, Chapter 22.

It is possible that the story that the sculpture depicts is about various tests in life. Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his own son for the greater good could also be a foreshadowing of the story of how God sacrificed his only son, Jesus Christ, for the sake of all of humanity. Ghiberti represents this sacrifice with a great deal of tension. Abraham is on the edge of sacrificing his son; the sacrifice happens on the edge of a mountain -- there is a great deal of tension in the piece, just as the Biblical story describes as well. The sculpture also implies that some being from heaven is always watching -- whether it is God or an angel. There is a message about the actions of humans being watched in the sculpture. There is a message of danger and precipices in the piece, too.

"Sacrifice of Isaac" is a sculpture produced in 1401. Lorenzo Ghiberti made this piece, which is a gilded bronze relief on Baptistery doors. The Baptistery is one of three buildings in Florence, Italy that symbolize the spiritual centers in Florence. The three buildings are the Cathedral, the bell tower, and the Baptistery. It is known to be the place where the most cherished citizens of Florence were baptized for centuries. Ghiberti won a competition and was awarded the task to create a timeless sculpture on the doors of the Baptistery. Such pieces on buildings were commissioned often by the various guilds present in Florence. For example, the merchants' guild was one of the more powerful groups in Florence in the 15th century.

Lorenzo Ghiberti was an Italian artist born in 1378 and dying in 1455. He was born outside of Florence and created famous pieces in Florence. He was an artist of the Early Renaissance period and the piece of focus, "Sacrifice of Isaac" is one of several pieces Ghiberti is most known for. Ghiberti was formally trained as an artist, as was the norm of the time, in the fields of goldsmithing and metal sculpture. Ghiberti's father was additionally an artist and goldsmith. Ghiberti received early training in the arts from his father, again, which was normal at the time.

Ghiberti showed so much promise as an artist from a very young age, that before he was twenty years old, he was an artist working in the palaces of princes in Italy. (Jameson, "Lives of the Early Painters," 360) Ghiberti and his artistic…

Sources Used in Document:

References:

All-Art. "Lorenzo Ghiberti." All-Art.org, Web, Available from: http://www.all-art.org/artists-g.html" target="_blank" REL="NOFOLLOW">http://www.all-art.org/artists-g.html. 2013 October 10.

Bloom, Kathryn. "Lorenzo Ghiberti's Space in Relief: Method and Theory." The Art Bulletin, Vol. 51, No. 2, 164 -- 169, 1969.

"Chapter 2: The Language of Art and Architecture." 25 -- 56. Provided.

Jameson, Mrs. "Lives of the Early Painters: Lorenzo Ghiberti." The American Art Journal, Vol. 5, No. 24, 379 -- 381, 1866.

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