Thankfully, when the great Baroque architect Francesco Borromini (1599-1667) was commissioned to remodel the interior of the ancient church of San Giovanni in Laterano (St John Lateran), it was decided to preserve the beautiful 16th century wooden ceiling in the nave.
The gilded and painted wooden ceiling was commissioned by Pope Pius IV (r. 1559-65) in 1562. The design is attributed to Pirro Ligorio, the carpenters were Vico di Raffaele di Lazzaro and Matteo Bartolini da Castello, the woodcarvers were Daniele da Volterra and Flaminio Boulanger, the painter was Luzio Luzi, and the gilder was Leonardi Cugni.
The ceiling was not completed until 1567, which is why there is also the coat of arms of Pope Pius V (r. 1566-72). In 1775 the ceiling was restored on the orders of Pope Pius VI (r. 1775-79), who added his own coat of arms.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private and
small-group walking tours
Search Walks in Rome: