Church of the Gesù : Michelin's recommendations
Whether you like the "Jesuit style", or not, you should go and see this church, built in 1575. It is that style's prototype and has often been copied around the world. The facade by Giacomo Della Porta, is strict and solemn, as it was supposed to be for the sanctuary of the strongest militants of the Counter-Reformation cause. It hides an incredibly rich interior, produced at the height of Baroque Art. Its decoration is a far cry from the austerity of Romanesque churches ! If the majestic Latin cross plan meets the Company's requirements, the luxurious multicoloured marble, paintings, sculptures, bronze statues, stuccoes and gold decoration leave you breathless ! The vault is decorated with frescoes by Baciccia (1679), combining the science of composition with trompe-l'oeil exuberance. Notice how the painted surfaces move on into relief decorations, representing the damned that are swept off into a tumultuous movement... LThe St. Ignatius Loyola Altar, by Andrea Pozzo, is another masterpiece. There are lapis-lazuli columns supported by green marble, gilded bronze low reliefs, a lapis-lazuli terrestrial globe, allegorical statues... Not to be missed ! Andrea Pozzo also produced the trompe-l'oeil paintings decorating the vaults and corridor walls of the house where Ignatius Loyola lived and died, at n° 45 of the square.
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