In harmony with a centuries-old tradition that has made the moment of homage to the Signoria – and later to the Grand Dukes – and to the Cardinal of the city one of the salient phases of the feast of the Patron Saint, since 2004 the Society of St. John the Baptist has decided to pay homage to the highest civil and religious institutions of the city by offering them a sumptuary work of art with multiple meanings.
The idea to realize the offer is inspired by the CROSS, one of the symbols that distinguish the effigy of St. John the Baptist in Christian iconography.
In fact, in the images of the Saint the usual cross, like the figure of the lamb, is alluding to the function of Nuncio of the sacrifice of Christ, just as the cartouche is alluding to his being a prophet and the bowl with water recalls the sacrament of Baptism.
The cross that is donated to the Mayor and Archbishop of Florence therefore reproduces in precious material, from year to year, one of the sacred symbols painted, sculpted or shaped in one of the works produced, over time, by the splendid Florentine art, by masters such as Lorenzo di Bicci, Ghirlandaio, Benedetto Buglioni or Francesco Botti, just to name a few of the many excellent authors.
If the crosses every year are different in type, technique and materials, however, their silver base remains identical which offers in small format the upper section of the Baptistery of Florence, the fulcrum of the celebrations of June 24 and a weighting part of the coat of arms of the Society of St. John the Baptist.