Sovereign Military Hospitaller
Order of St John of Jerusalem of
Rhodes and of Malta

Photographic exhibition of Polish Artist Gudzowaty at St. John the Baptist Hospital

The collection reflects the Order of Malta’s age-old teaching in caring for mind and body

Rome, 9 December 2022 – The exhibition of Tomasz Gudzowaty, internationally renowned Polish photographer, opens on Tuesday 13 December 2022 at the St. John the Baptist Hospital in Rome. A versatile entrepreneur, active in Europe, the Balkans, Asia and the Middle East, Tornasz Gudzowaty is perhaps today the best-known Polish photographer. The small exhibition in the hall of the “Magliana Castle” collects the works that will soon adorn the hospital’s clinics and wards.

The decision to host an art exhibition inside the hospital was inspired by the Order of Malta’s ancient tradition of integrating spirituality into patient care. The Regulations of the Sacred Infirmary of Malta – that is the hospital maintained and managed by the Order of St. John during the three centuries it spent in Malta – show that the Order was in the vanguard for managing hospitals and infirmaries in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries.

In addition to the great care taken for patients’ meals, served with silver dishes and cutlery, it is striking that the knights had realized the connection between mind and body for healing rapidly and well the wounded and the sick. These not only had to be properly fed and cared for, but also had to be able to look on beautiful and reassuring things!

For this reason, the Regulations stated that in winter the walls of the great halls of the Infirmary (which in reality was a large and – for the time – modern hospital) were to be adorned with tapestries, which in summer made way for “symmetrically arranged” paintings.