Bronze Doors: from the Supreme Court of the United States to the Gates of Paradise of the Baptistry in Florence
1. The doors of the Supreme Court of the United States were designed by Cass Gilbert and John Donnelly, have 8 panels depicting the following scenes: the shield of Achilles (two men debate a point of law the winner receiving two gold coins), the Praetor’s edict, Julian and the Scholar, Justinian Code, the Magna Carta, the Westminster Statute, Coke and James I,
and Marshall and Story. How many college graduates know who Story is? Should they? How about Julian? Coke?
2.) The Gates of Paradise of the octagonal Baptistry in Florence: Ghiberti’s masterpiece Named by Michelangelo “the Gates of Paradise”Ten panels depicting scenes from Genesis: Adam and Eve, Noah, Jacob and Esau, David… Each is a masterpiece of perspective and detail. The most analyzed of the panels is that of Jacob and Esau. The Baptistry was where all Florentines were baptized. How many college graduates know who Jacob and Esau were? Should they?
YOUR TURN: What are your favorite doors, bronze or otherwise?