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Church of the Gesu

Church of the Gesu

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The Church of the Gesù is the mother church
Mother Church
In Christianity, the term mother church or Mother Church may have one of the following meanings:# The first mission church in an area, or a pioneer cathedral# A basilica or cathedral# The main chapel of a province of a religious order...

 of the Society of Jesus
Society of Jesus
The Society of Jesus is a Catholic male religious order that follows the teachings of the Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits, and are also known colloquially as "God's Army" and as "The Company," these being references to founder Ignatius of Loyola's military background and a...

, a Roman Catholic religious order
Roman Catholic religious order
Catholic religious orders are, historically, a category of Catholic religious institutes.Subcategories are canons regular ; monastics ; mendicants Catholic religious orders are, historically, a category of Catholic religious institutes.Subcategories are canons regular (canons and canonesses regular...

 also known as the Jesuits. Officially named (Church of the Most Holy Name of Jesus), its facade is "the first truly baroque
Baroque architecture
Baroque architecture is a term used to describe the building style of the Baroque era, begun in late sixteenth century Italy, that took the Roman vocabulary of Renaissance architecture and used it in a new rhetorical and theatrical fashion, often to express the triumph of the Catholic Church and...

 façade", introducing the baroque style into architecture ,. The church served as model for innumerable Jesuit churches all over the world, especially in the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

. The Church of the Gesù is located in the Piazza del Gesù in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

.

First conceived in 1551 by Saint Ignatius of Loyola
Ignatius of Loyola
Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish knight from a Basque noble family, hermit, priest since 1537, and theologian, who founded the Society of Jesus and was its first Superior General. Ignatius emerged as a religious leader during the Counter-Reformation...

, the founder of the Jesuits Society of Jesus
Society of Jesus
The Society of Jesus is a Catholic male religious order that follows the teachings of the Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits, and are also known colloquially as "God's Army" and as "The Company," these being references to founder Ignatius of Loyola's military background and a...

, and active during the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 and the subsequent Catholic Reformation, the Gesù was also the home of the Superior General of the Society of Jesus
Superior General of the Society of Jesus
The Superior General of the Society of Jesus is the official title of the leader of the Society of Jesus—the Roman Catholic religious order, also known as the Jesuits. He is generally addressed as Father General. The position carries the nickname of Black Pope, after his simple black priest's...

 until the suppression of the order
Suppression of the Jesuits
The Suppression of the Jesuits in the Portuguese Empire, France, the Two Sicilies, Parma and the Spanish Empire by 1767 was a result of a series of political moves rather than a theological controversy. By the brief Dominus ac Redemptor Pope Clement XIV suppressed the Society of Jesus...

 in 1773.

History



Although Michelangelo
Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

, at the request of the Spanish cardinal Bartolomeo de la Cueva, offered, out of devotion, to design the church for free, the endeavor was funded by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, grandson
Grandson
Grandson has multiple meanings:*Grandson *Grandson, Switzerland, a municipality in Switzerland*Grandson , a district in Switzerland...

 of Pope Paul III
Pope Paul III
Pope Paul III , born Alessandro Farnese, was Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 1534 to his death in 1549. He came to the papal throne in an era following the sack of Rome in 1527 and rife with uncertainties in the Catholic Church following the Protestant Reformation...

, the pope who had authorized the founding of the Society of Jesus. Ultimately, the main architects involved in the construction were Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola
Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola
Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola was one of the great Italian architects of 16th century Mannerism. His two great masterpieces are the Villa Farnese at Caprarola and the Jesuits' Church of the Gesù in Rome...

, architect of the Farnese family, and Giacomo della Porta
Giacomo della Porta
Giacomo della Porta was an Italian architect and sculptor, who worked on many important buildings in Rome, including St. Peter's Basilica. He was born at Porlezza, Lombardy and died in Rome.-Biography:...

.
The church was built on the same spot as the previous church Santa Maria della Strada, where Saint Ignatius of Loyola
Ignatius of Loyola
Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish knight from a Basque noble family, hermit, priest since 1537, and theologian, who founded the Society of Jesus and was its first Superior General. Ignatius emerged as a religious leader during the Counter-Reformation...

 had once prayed before an image of the Holy Virgin. This image, now adorned with gems, can be seen in the church in the chapel of Ignatius on the right side of the altar.

Construction of the church began on 26 June 1568 to Vignola's design. Vignola was assisted by the Jesuit Giovanni Tristano, who took over from Vignola in 1571. When he died in 1575 he was succeeded by the Jesuit architect Giovanni de Rosis.. Giacoma della Porta was involved in the construction of the cross-vault, dome
Dome
A dome is a structural element of architecture that resembles the hollow upper half of a sphere. Dome structures made of various materials have a long architectural lineage extending into prehistory....

, and the apse
Apse
In architecture, the apse is a semicircular recess covered with a hemispherical vault or semi-dome...

.

The revision of Vignola's façade design by della Porta has offered architectural historians opportunities for a close comparison between Vignola's balanced composition in three superimposed planes and Della Porta's dynamically fused tension bound by its strong vertical elements, contrasts that have sharpened architectural historians' perceptions for the last century (Whitman 1970:108). Vignola's rejected design remained readily available to architects and prospective patrons in an engraving of 1573.

The design of this church has set a pattern for Jesuit churches that lasted into the twentieth century, its innovations require enumerating. The Jesuit Mother Church was built according to the new requirements formulated during the Council of Trent
Council of Trent
The Council of Trent was the 16th-century Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. It is considered to be one of the Church's most important councils. It convened in Trent between December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563 in twenty-five sessions for three periods...

. There is no narthex
Narthex
The narthex of a church is the entrance or lobby area, located at the end of the nave, at the far end from the church's main altar. Traditionally the narthex was a part of the church building, but was not considered part of the church proper...

 in which to linger: the visitor is projected immediately into the body of the church, a single nave without aisles, so that the congregation is assembled and attention is focused on the high altar. In place of aisles there are a series of identical interconnecting chapels behind arched openings, to which entrance is controlled by decorative balustrades with gates. Transepts are reduced to stubs that emphasize the altars of their end walls.

The plan synthesizes the central planning of the High Renaissance, expressed by the grand scale of the dome and the prominent piers of the crossing
Crossing (architecture)
A crossing, in ecclesiastical architecture, is the junction of the four arms of a cruciform church.In a typically oriented church , the crossing gives access to the nave on the west, the transept arms on the north and south, and the choir on the east.The crossing is sometimes surmounted by a tower...

, with the extended nave that had been characteristic of the preaching churches, a type of church established by Franciscans and Dominicans
Dominican Order
The Order of Preachers , after the 15th century more commonly known as the Dominican Order or Dominicans, is a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic and approved by Pope Honorius III on 22 December 1216 in France...

 since the thirteenth century. Everywhere inlaid polychrome marble revetments are relieved by gilding, frescoed barrel vaults enrich the ceiling and rhetorical white stucco and marble sculptures break out of their tectonic framing. The example of the Gesù did not completely eliminate the traditional basilica
Basilica
The Latin word basilica , was originally used to describe a Roman public building, usually located in the forum of a Roman town. Public basilicas began to appear in Hellenistic cities in the 2nd century BC.The term was also applied to buildings used for religious purposes...

 church with aisles, but after its example was set, experiments in Baroque church floor plans, oval or Greek cross, were largely confined to smaller churches and chapels.
The church was consecrated by Cardinal Giulio Antonio Santori, the delegate of pope Gregory XIII on 25 November 1584.

Façade


The façade of the church is divided into two sections. The lower section is divided by six pairs of pilasters with Corinthian capitals, while the upper section is divided with four pairs of pilasters. The upper section is joined to the lower section by a volute
Volute
A volute is a spiral scroll-like ornament that forms the basis of the Ionic order, found in the capital of the Ionic column. It was later incorporated into Corinthian order and Composite column capitals...

 on each side. The main door stands under a curvilinear tympanum
Tympanum (architecture)
In architecture, a tympanum is the semi-circular or triangular decorative wall surface over an entrance, bounded by a lintel and arch. It often contains sculpture or other imagery or ornaments. Most architectural styles include this element....

, while the two side doors are under a triangular tympanum. Above the main door one can see a shield with the christogram
Christogram
A Christogram is a monogram or combination of letters that forms an abbreviation for the name of Jesus Christ, traditionally used as a Christian symbol. Different types of Christograms are associated with the various traditions of Christianity, e.g...

 IHS
IHS
IHS may refer to:* A common Christogram based on the first three letters of "Jesus" in Greek .* Abbreviation for the In hoc signo vinces legend.* IBM HTTP Server...

, representing the name of Jesus Ihesus. The façade also shows the papal coat of arms and a shield with the initialism SPQR
SPQR
SPQR is an initialism from a Latin phrase, Senatus Populusque Romanus , referring to the government of the ancient Roman Republic, and used as an official emblem of the modern day comune of Rome...

, tying this church closely to the people of Rome.

Interior decoration



The present high altar, designed by Antonio Sarti (1797–1880), was constructed towards the middle of the 19th century. It is dominated by four columns under a neo-classical pediment
Pediment
A pediment is a classical architectural element consisting of the triangular section found above the horizontal structure , typically supported by columns. The gable end of the pediment is surrounded by the cornice moulding...

. Sarti also covered the apse with marble and made the drawings of the tabernacle
Church tabernacle
A tabernacle is the fixed, locked box in which, in some Christian churches, the Eucharist is "reserved" . A less obvious container, set into the wall, is called an aumbry....

. The angels surrounding the IHS
IHS
IHS may refer to:* A common Christogram based on the first three letters of "Jesus" in Greek .* Abbreviation for the In hoc signo vinces legend.* IBM HTTP Server...

 aureole were sculpted by Rinaldo Rinaldi (1793–1873). The two angels kneeling at each side of the aureole are the work of Francesco Benaglia and Filippo Gnaccarini (1804–1875). The altarpiece, representing the "Circumcision", was painted by Alessandro Capalti (1810–1868). The ceiling of the apse is adorned by the painting "Glory of the Mystical Lamb" by Baciccia (Giovanni Battista Gaulli).

The most striking feature of the interior decoration is the ceiling fresco
Fresco
Fresco is any of several related mural painting types, executed on plaster on walls or ceilings. The word fresco comes from the Greek word affresca which derives from the Latin word for "fresh". Frescoes first developed in the ancient world and continued to be popular through the Renaissance...

 is the grandiose Triumph of the Name of Jesus by Giovanni Battista Gaulli
Giovanni Battista Gaulli
Giovanni Battista Gaulli , also known as Baciccio, Il Baciccio or Baciccia , was a painter of the Italian High Baroque verging onto that of the Rococo...

. Gaulli also frescoed the cupola, including lantern and pendentives, central vault, window recesses, and transepts' ceilings.

The first chapel to the right of the nave is the Cappella di Sant'Andrea, so named because the church previously on the site, which had to be demolished to make way for the Jesuit church, was dedicated to St. Andrew. All the painted works were completed by the Florentine Agostino Ciampelli
Agostino Ciampelli
Agostino Ciampelli was an Italian painter of the Baroque period. He trained with Santi di Tito in Florence, and painted in Rome under Clement VIII, including a Crucifixion for Santa Prassede and a Saint Giovanni Gualberto in its sacristy; Angels on the walls above the choirstalls in the apse...

. The frescoes on the arches depict the male martyrs saints Pancrazio, Celso, Vito, and Agapito, while the pilasters depict the female martyred saints Cristina, Margherita, Anastasia, Cecilia, Lucy, and Agatha. The ceiling is frescoed with the Glory of the Virgin surrounded by martyred saints Clemente, Ignazio di Antiochia, Cipriano, and Policarpo The lunettes are frescoed with Saints Agnes & Lucy face the storm and St. Stephen and the Deacon St. Lawrence. The altarpiece depicts the Martyrdom of St Andrew.

The second chapel to the right is the Cappella della Passione, with lunette frescoes depicting scenes of the Passion: Jesus in Gethsemane, Kiss of Judas, and six canvases on the pilasters: Christ at the column Christ before the guards, Christ before Herod, Ecce Homo, Exit to Calvary, and Crucifixion. The altarpiece of the Madonna with child and beatified Jesuits, replaces the original altarpiece by Scipione Pulzone
Scipione Pulzone
Scipione Pulzone , also known as Il Gaetano, was an Italian late Renaissance Mannerist or, more properly, "counter-Maniera" painter active in Rome...

. The program of paintings is indebted to Giuseppe Valeriani and painted by Gaspare Celio
Gaspare Celio
Gaspare Celio was an Italian painter of the late-Mannerist and early-Baroque period, active mainly in his native city of Rome.His first commissions in about 1596 were completed with Giuseppe Valeriano who asked Celio to decorate the Chapel of the Passion in the church of il Gesù in Rome...

. The altar has a bronze urn with the remains of 18th century Jesuit St. Giuseppe Pignatelli, canonized by Pius XII in 1954. Medals on the wall commemorate P. Jan Roothaan (1785–1853) and P. Pedro Arrupe (1907–1991), the 21st and 28th Superior General of the Society of Jesus
Superior General of the Society of Jesus
The Superior General of the Society of Jesus is the official title of the leader of the Society of Jesus—the Roman Catholic religious order, also known as the Jesuits. He is generally addressed as Father General. The position carries the nickname of Black Pope, after his simple black priest's...

.

The third chapel to the right is the Cappella degli Angeli has a ceiling fresco of the Coronation of Virgin and altarpiece of Angels worshiping Trinity by Federico Zuccari
Federico Zuccari
Federico Zuccari, also known as Federigo Zuccaro , was an Italian Mannerist painter and architect, active both in Italy and abroad.-Biography:Zuccari was born at Sant'Angelo in Vado, near Urbino ....

. He also painted the canvases on the walls, Defeat of rebel angels on right, and Angels liberate souls from Purgatory on the left. Other frescoes represent Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory. The angles in the niches of the pilasters were completed by both Silla Longhi and Flaminio Vacca
Flaminio Vacca
Flaminio Vacca or Vacchi was an Italian sculptor. His sculptural work can be seen in Rome in the grandiose funeral chapel of Pope Pius V designed by Domenico Fontana at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore , in the Church of the Gesù and in the right transept of...

.

The larger Saint Francis Xavier Chapel in the right transept, was designed by Pietro da Cortona
Pietro da Cortona
Pietro da Cortona, by the name of Pietro Berrettini, born Pietro Berrettini da Cortona, was the leading Italian Baroque painter of his time and also one of the key architects in the emergence of Roman Baroque architecture. He was also an important decorator...

, originally commissioned by cardinal Giovanni Francesco Negroni. The polychromatic marbles enclose a stucco relief representing Francis Xavier
Francis Xavier
Francis Xavier, born Francisco de Jasso y Azpilicueta was a pioneering Roman Catholic missionary born in the Kingdom of Navarre and co-founder of the Society of Jesus. He was a student of Saint Ignatius of Loyola and one of the first seven Jesuits, dedicated at Montmartre in 1534...

 welcomed to heaven by angels
. The altarpiece shows the Death of Francis Xavier in Shangchuan Island
Shangchuan Island
Shangchuan Island also written is the main island of Chuanshan Archipelago on the southern coast of China. Its name originated from São João - Saint John in Portuguese. It is part of the Guangdong province, in the South China Sea...

by Carlo Maratta
Carlo Maratta
Carlo Maratta or Maratti was an Italian painter, active mostly in Rome, and known principally for his classicizing paintings executed in a Late Baroque Classical manner. Although he is part of the classical tradition stemming from Raphael, he was not exempt from the influence of Baroque painting...

. The arches are decorated with scenes from the life of the saint, including Apotheosis of the saint in the center, Crucifixion, Saint lost at sea, and at left, Baptism of an Indian princess, by Giovanni Andrea Carlone. The silver reliquary conserves part of the saint's right arm (by which he baptized 300,000 people), his other remains are interred in the Jesuit church in Goa
Goa
Goa , a former Portuguese colony, is India's smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population. Located in South West India in the region known as the Konkan, it is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north, and by Karnataka to the east and south, while the Arabian Sea forms its...

.

The last chapel on the far end of the nave, to the right of the high altar, is the chapel of the Sacro Cuore (holy heart of Jesus).

The sacristy is on the right. In the presbytery is a bust of Cardinal Robert Bellarmine
Robert Bellarmine
Robert Bellarmine was an Italian Jesuit and a Cardinal of the Catholic Church. He was one of the most important figures in the Counter-Reformation...

 by Bernini
Gian Lorenzo Bernini
Gian Lorenzo Bernini was an Italian artist who worked principally in Rome. He was the leading sculptor of his age and also a prominent architect...

.

The first chapel to the left, originally dedicated to the apostles, is now the Cappella di San Francesco Borgia, the former Spanish Duke of Gandia, who renounced his title to enter the Jesuit order, and become its third "Preposito generale". The altarpiece, Saint Francesco Borgia in Prayer by Pozzo
Andrea Pozzo
Andrea Pozzo was an Italian Jesuit Brother, Baroque painter and architect, decorator, stage designer, and art theoretician. He was best known for his grandiose frescoes using illusionistic technique called quadratura, in which architecture and fancy are intermixed...

, is surrounded by works by Gagliardi. Ceiling frescoes of (Pentecost) and lunettes (left Martyrdom of St. Peter, to sides Faith and Hope and right, Martyrdom of St. Paul) with allegorical Religion and Charity are works Nicolò Circignani (Il Pomarancio). Pier Francesco Mola
Pier Francesco Mola
Pier Francesco Mola was an Italian painter of the High Baroque, mainly active around Rome.-Biography:Mola was born at Coldrerio . At the age of four, he moved to Rome with his father Giovanni Battista, a painter...

 painted the walls, on left with St. Peter in jail baptizes saints Processo & Martiniano, to right is the Conversion of St. Paul. There are four monuments by Marchesi Ferrari.

The second chapel on the left is dedicated to the Nativity, and called Cappella della Sacra Famiglia, commissioned by patron Cardinal Cerri, who worked for the Barberini family. The altarpiece of the nativity by Circignani. In the roof, the Celestial celebration on the nativity of Christ, on the pinnacles are David
David
David was the second king of the united Kingdom of Israel according to the Hebrew Bible and, according to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, an ancestor of Jesus Christ through both Saint Joseph and Mary...

, Isaiah
Isaiah
Isaiah ; Greek: ', Ēsaïās ; "Yahu is salvation") was a prophet in the 8th-century BC Kingdom of Judah.Jews and Christians consider the Book of Isaiah a part of their Biblical canon; he is the first listed of the neviim akharonim, the later prophets. Many of the New Testament teachings of Jesus...

, Zechariah and Baruch
Baruch ben Neriah
Baruch ben Neriah was the scribe, disciple, secretary, and devoted friend of the Biblical prophet Jeremiah. According to Josephus, he was a Jewish aristocrat, a son of Neriah and brother of Seraiah ben Neriah, chamberlain of King Zedekiah of Judah.Baruch wrote down the first and second editions of...

, on the right lunette, an Annunciation to the Shepherds, and on the left, a Massacre of the Innocents. Also are frescoes on Presentation of Jesus to the Temple and Adoration by Magi. Four allegorical statues represent Temperance, Prudence on right; and Fortitude and Justice.

The third chapel to the left is the Cappella della Santissima Trinità, commissioned initially by the clerical patron Pirro Taro, is named due to the main altarpiece by Francesco Bassano the Younger
Francesco Bassano the Younger
Francesco Bassano the Younger , also called Francesco Giambattista da Ponte or Francesco da Ponte the Younger, was an Italian painter of the Renaissance period....

. The frescoes completed mainly by three painters and assistants during 1588-1589; the exact attributions are uncertain, but it is said the Creation, the angels on the pilasters, and the designs of some of the frescoes by the Florentine Jesuit painter, Giovanni Battista Fiammeri
Giovanni Battista Fiammeri
Giovanni Battista Fiammeri was a Florentine Jesuit painter.He oversaw part of the decoration of the Church of the Gesù in Rome.-Sources:* ArteAntica * Artnet...

. Painted with assistants was the Baptism of Christ on the right wall. The Transfiguration on the left wall and the Abraham with three angels on the right oval were by Durante Alberti
Durante Alberti
Durante Alberti was an Italian painter of the late-Renaissance period.He was born in Borgo San Sepolcro. He was active mainly in his native town and Rome, where he arrived during the papacy of Gregory XIII. He was also called Durante del Nero. His father was Romano Alberti. His son Pierfrancesco...

. God the Father behind a chorus of angels in the left oval and in the pinnacles, angels with God’s attributes, were completed by Ventura Salimbeni
Ventura Salimbeni
Ventura di Archangelo Salimbeni was an Italian Mannerist painter and printmaker and among the last representatives of a style influenced by the earlier Sienese School of Quattrocento-Renaissance....

. The reliquary on the altar holds the right arm of the polish Jesuit St. Andrew Bobola
Andrew Bobola
Andrew Bobola was a Polish missionary and martyr of the Society of Jesus, known as the apostle of Lithuania and the "hunter of souls".-Biography:...

, martyred in 1657 and canonized by Pius XI in 1938.

The imposing and luxurious St. Ignatius Chapel, located on the left side of the transept, is the church's masterpiece, designed by Andrea Pozzo
Andrea Pozzo
Andrea Pozzo was an Italian Jesuit Brother, Baroque painter and architect, decorator, stage designer, and art theoretician. He was best known for his grandiose frescoes using illusionistic technique called quadratura, in which architecture and fancy are intermixed...

 between 1696 and 1700. It houses the saint's tomb. The altar by Pozzo shows the Trinity on top of a globe. The lapis lazuli
Lapis lazuli
Lapis lazuli is a relatively rare semi-precious stone that has been prized since antiquity for its intense blue color....

, representing the Earth, is thought to be the largest piece in the world, but is actually mortar craftily decorated with lapis lazuli. The four lapis lazuli-veneered columns enclose the colossal statue of the saint by Pierre Legros. The latter is a copy, probably by Adamo Tadolini working in the studio of Antonio Canova
Antonio Canova
Antonio Canova was an Italian sculptor from the Republic of Venice who became famous for his marble sculptures that delicately rendered nude flesh...

  Pope Pius VI
Pope Pius VI
Pope Pius VI , born Count Giovanni Angelo Braschi, was Pope from 1775 to 1799.-Early years:Braschi was born in Cesena...

 had the original silver statue melted down, ostensibly to pay the war reparations to Napoleon, as established by the Treaty of Tolentino
Treaty of Tolentino
The Treaty of Tolentino was signed after nine months of negotiations between France and the Papal States on February 19, 1797. It was part of the events following the invasion of Italy in the early stages of the French Revolutionary Wars...

, 1797. Originally the project was designed by Giacomo della Porta , then by Cortona ; but ultimately Pozzo won a public contest to design the altar. A canvas of the Saint receives the monogram with the name of Jesus from the celestial resurrected Christ attributed to Pozzo. The urn of St. Ignatius is a bronze urn by Algardi
Alessandro Algardi
Alessandro Algardi was an Italian high-Baroque sculptor active almost exclusively in Rome, where for the latter decades of his life, he was the major rival of Gian Lorenzo Bernini.-Early years:...

 that holds the body of the saint, below are two groups of statues where Religion defeats heresy by Legros (with a putto - on the left side - tearing pages from heretic books by Luther, Calvin and Zwingli), and Faith defeats idolatry by Jean-Baptiste Théodon
Jean-Baptiste Théodon
Jean-Baptiste Théodon . was a French sculptor.Born at Vendrest , he formed his style working in the Manufacture royale des Gobelins organized by Jean-Baptiste Colbert, who saw to it that he was admitted to the newly founded French Academy at Rome in 1675...

.

The St. Ignatius Chapel also hosts the restored macchina barocca or conversion machine of Andrea Pozzo. During daytime the statue of St. Ignatius is hidden behind a large painting, but every day at 17.30 loud religious music is played and the painting slides away in the floor, revealing the statue, with large spotlights switched on to show the piece.

The last chapel on the far end of the nave, to the left of the high altar, is the Chapel of the Madonna della Strada. The name derives from a medieval icon, once found in a now-lost Church in the piazza Altieri, venerated by sant'Ignazio. The interior is designed and decorated by Giuseppe Valeriani, who painted scenes from the life of the Virgin
Life of the Virgin
The Life of the Virgin, showing narrative scenes from the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus, is a common subject for pictorial cycles in Christian art, often complementing, or forming part of, a cycle on the Life of Christ. In both cases the number of scenes shown varies greatly with the space...

. The cupola frescoes were painted by G.P. Pozzi.

The pipe organ was built by the Italian firm, Tamburini. It is a large three manual instrument with 5 divisions (pedal, choir, great, swell and antiphonal). The swell and choir are enclosed. The pipes are split into three separate locations within the church. Two ornamented facades flank the transept walls (Swell and Great on the left and Choir and Pedal on the right) and a small antiphonal division is located above the liturgical west entrance.

Legacy


The Church of the Gesù was the model of numerous churches of the Society of Jesus throughout the world, starting from the Church of St.Michael in Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

 (1583–1597) and the Corpus Christi Church in Niasviž (1587–1593). Various parishes also share the name of the Church of the Gesù in Rome.

External links