COVER PAGEV is vor VINCENT
BAPTISTRY DOORS IN FLORENCE: L IS FOR LORENZO GHIBERTI, AND LORENZO DEI MEDICI
Icarus' untimely demise did not serve to deter us from trying to reach paradise.
After all, perhaps his dunking immersion was merely the necessary laving of his soul.
As for Jacob, maybe he fought too hard with the angel, maybe there was a better way, proposed by John the Baptist: a river of water, not to drown, but to wash clean.
The baptistries of the Middle Ages were supposed to symbolize the Red Sea in which the Pharaoh's armies were drowned in their disobedience, while the Jordan's waters baptized the children of Jove into heaven.
The baptism of Charlemagne was a hugely symbolic ritual for example, and since confession was becoming codified, may have given rise to the legend of St Giles and the unutterable sin (this is a correction from an earlier version which read unforgiveable but in fact the only unforgiveable sin is to deny the spirit) recounted in the Kaiserkronnik.
"Who's the captain now?" everyone seemed to be wondering.
Who will navigate the sea into which Icarus plunged, back to the stars he longed to touch?
The doors of paradise wrought in bronze for the baptistry of florence were intended as a grateful gesture to God that Florence had somehow not been annihilated by the black death.
Interestingly, Savonarola was born the year they were moved to their present position.