Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Il Gesù - Principal Jesuit Church, Rome

Chiesa del Sacro Nome di Gesù, Principal Jesuit church in Rome

This image of the altar in Il Gesù in Rome is part of one of the panoramic images found on the PanoramicEarth.com Tour of Rome. There are over 100 images taken from around Rome linked to an interactive map.

The Church of Gesù is the principal church of the Jesuit order. The full Italian name is Chiesa del Sacro Nome di Gesù, or "Church of the Holy Name of Jesus". The Church of the Gesù is located in the Piazza del Gesù in Rome, at the beginning of the Corso Vittorio Emanuele which links the church to the Vatican, crossing over Ponte Vittorio Emanuele.

The layout of the church set a pattern followed by other Jesuit church buildings well into the 20C. Designed by Vignola, building began in 1568 and contained various new innovations in church design. These included the lack of aisles in the nave, and no narthex, thus the visitor enters the body of the building with attention given to the high altar.

The vault of Gesù is decorated with the fresco Triumph in the Name of Jesus. The church contains a number of side chapels in which various famous works of art are found. The most important is the Chapel of St Ignatius in the left transept, designed by Andrea Pozzo, SJ, in 1695-1699. More than 100 artists have contributed to the chapel over. The relics of the saint are contained within a gilded bronze urn from 1637 by Alessandro Algardi underneath the altar. The monument is crowned by the Holy Trinity, and the globe held by the Father is a single piece of lapis lazuli.

Several works celebrate the expansion of the faith and victories of the church. These include Théudon's Baroque sculpture Triumph of Faith over Heresy, and Barbarians Adoring the Faith by Jean Baptiste Théodon.

Next to this is the chapel of Santa Maria degli Astalli which contains the15C painting Madonna dell Strada (Madonna of the Road).

A full panoramic image showing more of the interior of Il Gesù is found on the Rome tour by PanoramicEarth.com. An enlargement of this photo can be found on Flickr.

For more articles on Rome see the Rome Index or select one of the labels at the bottom.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

St Paul-St Louis Church Paris

Now enter the church … Come on, proceed to the central aisle and sit down.
Sometimes when I enter this church, a strange thought occurs to me. I know it might seem absurd, cranky and incoherent but after all, who cares? History creates tilts in time spans. In fact, I'd like to attend a service and I'm sure that many of the quartier's noteworthy characters of the past will also be present.

Just imagine! This church is more than sixty meters long! Can you imagine it full to bursting? . Imagine the characters coming in!
King Louis XIII frequented it. Although the Jesuits were banished from France in 1595, they were back in the Kingdom by 1606.
Louis XIII in person laid the foundation stone of the church, twenty one years later. Of course, the architect was a Jesuit, Friar Etienne Martellange. It'll be no surprise to you that this pole of Jesuit teachings designed by a Jesuit friar had a model “par excellence” the Jesuit Il Gesù church in Rome.

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