S. Giovanni in Laterano. ROME. IV. Ancient Rome. 269
John the Baptist. In 1308 it was burned down, but was restored
by Clement V., and decorated with paintings by Giotto. A second
fire destroyed the church in 1360, after which is was rebuilt by Ur¬
ban IV. and Gregory XL It was again altered by Martin V. (1430),
Eugene IV., and Alexander VI., and modernised by Pius IV. (1560),
hy the alterations of Borromini (1650), and by the facade of Galilei
(1734). Five important Councils have been held in this church,
viz. those of 1123, 1139, 1179, 1215, and 1512.
The Facade by .Alessandro Galilei, with a portico and open
loggia above it, is the best of this description in Rome. From the
central arcade of the loggia the Pope used to pronounce his bene¬
diction on Ascension-day.
To the left in the Portico is an ancient statue of Constantine the
Great (PL 1), found in the Thermae of that emperor. Of the five entrances
the Porta Santa (PL 2) on the right is closed, but is opened in the year
of jubilee. The central entrance (PI. 3) possesses two bronze doors with
garlands and other decorations. The portico is 33 ft. in depth and 174 ft.
in width; the church 426 ft. in length.
Interior. The Nave, which is flanked by double aisles, is supported by
twelve pillars, the work of Borromini, partly enclosing the ancient columns.
In the niches are the Twelve Apostles, of the school of Bernini; reliefs by
Algardi. Over these are the figures of twelve prophets. The ceiling, said
to have been designed by Michael Angelo, is more probably by Giacomo della
Porta. The richly inlaid pavement dates from the time of Martin V. On the
right and left at the end of the nave are the only two ancient granite columns
now visible. Below, in front of the Confessio (PL 4), is the 'monument of
Pope Martin V. (d. 1431), in bronze by Simone, brother of Donatello. — In
the centre of the Transept, which is raised by four steps, is the "Canopy
(PI. 5), a beautiful work of 1367, lately restored, with paintings by Barna
da Siena, dating from 1391), but freely restored. It contains numerous relics,
including, it is said, the heads of SS. Peter and Paul. Below it is the high-
altar (altare papale), at which the pope alone reads mass, containing a
wooden table from the catacombs which is said to have been used as an
altar by St. Peter. The transept was restored under Clement VIII. by Giac.
della Porta (1603) and adorned with frescoes. Here to the left is the great
Altar of Ike Sacrament (PL 6), with four ancient columns of gilded bronze,
which once belonged to the original basilica. The chapel of the choir
(PL 7; generally closed), to the left of the tribune, contains a portrait of
Martin V. by Scip. Gaetano, and an altar-piece by the Cav. d'Arpino.
The Tribune and Choir Passage are at present undergoing restoration.
The Tribune (PI. 8) is embellished with 'mosaics, either originally executed,
or of ancient workmanship restored by Jacobus Torriti (1290) : the Saviour
enveloped in clouds ; below at the sides of a cross, (1.) the Virgin, at whose
feet Nicholas IV. kneels, SS. Francis, Peter, and Paul, and (r.) John the
Baptist, St. John , St. Andrew, and other saints. To the right in the transept
two fine columns of giallo antico. Adjoining the organ is a monument
to the philologist Laurentius Valla (d. 1465), a canon of this church. —
The Choir Passage, called 'Portico Leonino' from having been constructed
by Leo I., entered to the right behind the tribune, is embellished on each
side with mosaic tablets, the subjects of which relate to the construction of
the church; farther on, to the right, the kneeling figure of a pope (10th cent.);
to the left, in the centre, an altar with ancient crucifix, on each side statues
of Peter and Paul (PL 10), of the 10th cent. — Farther on, to the right,
the entrance to the Sacristy (PI. 11), the inner bronze doors of which date
from 1196. It contains the monument of Fulvius Ursinus, a cannnofthis
church (d. 1600); an 'Annunciation by Marcello Venusti after a drawing by
Michael Angelo; statue of John the Baptist in wood by Donatello; cartoon
of Raphael's Madonna di Casa d'Alba (original at St. Petersburg). - At the