Located across the river, in the heart of the San Frediano area is an important piece of the history of the city – the tablernacle of St John located on via San Giovanni at the corner of Borgo San Frediano.
Recently restored by the American foundation The Friends of Florence, which has since 1998 years helped fund the restorations of some of the city’s most important works, this beautiful tabernacle has been returned to its original splendor.
This stunning tabernacle depicts the Madonna and Child with Angels. The artist nor the year in which it was made has not been confirmed, though experts have called the artist the Maestro from Signa and can place the work in the first half of the 1500s.
Restoration work was done not only on the fresco but also on the marble frame and ledge in pietra serena. The glass door was also replaced to keep the fresco safe from water seeping into the tabernacle and the humidity it can cause, as well as better protecting it from dirt and pollution from passing cars on busy Borgo San Frediano.
One of the four restorers from the Consorzio C.E.R. di Firenze of the tabernacle, Alessandra Popple, told LdM News that the work is so special because it was originally located in a nearby hospital-turned-convent and moved to the street corner in the 1600s.
After several restorative efforts, and signicant damage form the 1966 Florence Flood, the tabernacle was in desperate need of help. According to Popple, restorers were able to bring back the original splendor of both the fresco and the marble frame.
The restoration was carried out in collaboration with the special committee that protects Florence’s hundreds of tabernacles, the Amici dei Musei Fiorentini Association, which began some 20 years ago.