Originally named Lorenzo di Bartolo, Ghiberti was born in Florence 1378 and trained as a goldsmith. His work and writings formed the basis for much of the style for the later High Renaissance. In 1403, competing against such fierce rivals as Filippo Brunelleschi and Jacopo della Quercia (famous sculptors), Ghiberti won his first major assignment, the making of the second pair of bronze doors for the Baptistery of the Cathedral of Florence.
Ghiberti spent more than 20 years completing them, aided by his students, who included the famous Donatello and Paolo Uccello. Each door contains 14 quatrefoil-framed scenes from the lives of Christ, the Evangelists, and the church fathers. These doors were installed in 1424; the doors were highly praised. "Although the reliefs were mainly Gothic in style, the later ones show an increased interest in the antique and in deep pictorial space, with the figures assuming more importance than the drapery."
Ghiberti is noted as one of the most original and influential bas reliefs sculptors in America today. The third set of bronze doors (made for the baptistery in Florence) was completed in 1452. These doors, each portraying five scenes from the Old Testament, were called the Gates of Paradise. Three years later Ghiberti died in Florence on December 1, 1455.