Ghiberti was born in the year 1378, in Pelago, a comune 20 km from Florence. It is said that Lorenzo was the son of Cione di Ser Buonaccorso Ghiberti and Fiore Ghiberti. However, there is some doubt whether Cione was Ghiberti’s actual father. At some point in their marriage, Fiore went to Florence and lived with a goldsmith by the name of Bartolo di Michele. Fiore and Bartolo maintained a common law marriage, so it is unknown who Ghiberti’s biological father is. There is no documentation of Cione’s death, but it is known that after his passing Fiore and Bartolo married in 1406. Regardless, Bartolo was the only father Lorenzo knew and they had a close and loving relationship. Bartolo was a clever and popular goldsmith in Florence, and trained Lorenzo in his trade. It was from this apprenticeship that Lorenzo learned the first principles of design. Lorenzo was interested in many forms of art and did not confine himself to gold-working. He delighted in modeling copies of antique medals and also in painting. Lorenzo received formal training as a painter from Gherardo Starnina, an Italian artist from Florence. He then went to work in the Florence workshop of Bartolo di Michele, where Antonio del Pollaiolo also worked. When the bubonic plague struck Florence in 1400, Ghiberti moved to Rimini. In Rimini he was fortunate enough to receive employment in the palace of Carlo Malatesta for the Lord of Pesaro, where he assisted in the completion of wall frescoes of the castle of Carlo I Malatesta. At the palace Ghiberti was given a room to paint in, and he spent much of his time here. It is believed that this is where he gained his deep love for the art of painting. However, shortly after his arrival he received word from his friends back in his home town of Florence that the governors of the Baptistery were holding a competition and sending for masters who were skilled in bronze working. Despite his great appreciation for painting, Ghiberti asked Malatesta for leave. In 1401 he headed back to Florence to participate in a competition that was being held for the commission to make a pair of bronze doors for the Baptistery of the Cathedral of Florence.