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San Giovanni Battista (Modena)

Famous for Mazzoni's Lamentation

Mazzoni's Lamentation over the Dead Christ

Originally dedicated to St Michael, this church on Piazza Matteotti was reconstructed in the 16th century. In 1774 was rededicated to John the Baptists by the Confraternita di San Giovanni della Buona Morte, which remains in charge of it.

The main reason to pop in if it's open is to see Guido Mazzoni's lifesize painted terracotta Lamentation over the Dead Christ (1477-80), commissioned by the Confraternity and moved here in the 19th century. The rulers of Modena at the time are reflected in the figures' features: Ercole I d'Este is Nicodemus and his wife Eleonor represents Mary of Cleophas.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Image by PD Art