Near the renowned piazza della Bocca della Verità but hidden in a still preserved area of rione Ripa, a religious art treasure of Rome opens only once a year to the public, on the occasion of the feast of its patron San Giovanni Battista on the 24th of June: the complex of San Giovanni Decollato. Dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, patron of Florence, this complex was the seat of the Arciconfraternita della Misericordia. Counting members as Michelangelo Buonarroti, the important archconfraternity of Florentine origin assisted the sentenced to death, praying for them and giving them a burial.
The recently restored 16th century murals, considered as masterpieces dating to the Mannerist period, enrich the inner walls of the church and the oratory, mostly painted by artists from Tuscan-Roman school such as Giorgio Vasari, Jacopo and Francesco Zucchi, Pomarancio, Giovanni Balducci called il Cosci, Giovanni Battista Naldini and Monanno Monanni.
Francesco Salviati intervened in the oratory decoration around the fervent years of the Jubilee of 1550, prepared by pope Paolo III Farnese but celebrated by pope Giulio III. The Florentine painter was the protagonist around the mid-16th century in Rome and worked for prestigious patrons. Paying his most sincere tribute to Michelangelo’s plasticity, in 1550 Salviati painted the powerful figures of Sant’Andrea and San Bartolomeo on both sides of Jacopino del Conte's altarpiece, excellent panel depicting the Deposition. Soon after, Salviati showed the complexity of his cultured inspirations by executing the Nativity of the Baptist, dated to 1551 (see Zuccari 1998, p. 268 and Cox-Rearick 1998, p. 25).
You find it here
Opening time: every 24th of June 9.30 - 12.30 am, on the occasion of the patron's feast. All the other days it is potentially accessible upon previous governor's authorization.
Tickets: free (on the occasion of allowed extraordinary opening, a possible donation is by your choice)
Organization: Arciconfraternita San Giovanni Decollato
Governor: Dott. Francesco Scalia