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The St. Ignatius Church

Like the Gesł Church, the St. Ignatius Church (Chiesa di Sant’Ignazio) is a Jesuit Church (which shouldn’t be surprising, as it’s dedicated to the founder of the order).  It’s quite large, and is also full of elaborate decorations.

Family and Main Altar
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Main Altar

Paintings Behind Main Altar

Main Altar

Painting Above Altar

Side Chapels
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Columns and Cornice

Dedicatory Inscription

Construction was begun in 1626, but final consecration didn’t occur until 96 years later.  Much was obviously spent on the side chapels, but there weren’t enough funds to build anything more complicated than a simple barrel vault for the ceiling, and it was never possible to build a planned dome.  Instead, a tricky frescoist and fellow Jesuit named Andrea Pozzo was given the job of painting the ceiling, starting around 1685.  For the vault, he painted an elaborate scene celebrating the triumphs of St. Ignatius.  The saint’s support of missionary work was emphasized, with allegorical representations on the edges of the vault of the four recognized continents (Europe, America, Africa and Asia).  Pozzo played some games with perspective to make the vault seem more lofty, with classically-styled arches at the ends and with sky in between.  There is a marble disk embedded in the floor to mark the spot where the perspective is most effective.

Ceiling Fresco
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St. Ignatius in Glory, Andrea Pozzo

Ceiling Fresco

Classical "Archway"

Another Classical "Archway"





Similarly, the interior of a darkened non-existent dome was painted on a flat stretch of ceiling, and from the right spot (also marked on the floor), the effect is quite convincing.

Main Altar and Fake Dome
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Fake Dome

Also like the Gesł Church, the St. Ignatius Church is something of a burial ground.  Entombed here are St. John Berchmans and St. Aloysius Gonzaga (in the large side chapels near the front), St. Robert Bellarmine (who was the teacher and confessor of St. Aloysius Gonzaga) and Pope Gregory XV.

Chapel of St. John Berchmans

Nella and St. John Berchmans Chapel

St. John Berchmans Chapel
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Statue, Pietro Bracci

Statue, Pietro Bracci

Annunciation, Filippo della Valle

Chapel of St. Aloysius Gonzaga

Statue, St. Aloysius Gonzaga Chapel

Nella and St. Aloysius Gonzaga Chapel
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St. Aloysius Gonzaga in Glory, Pierre Legros

St. Robert Bellarmine Chapel

Statue of St. Ignatius, Camillo Rusconi (1728)

St. Ignatius Status and Tomb of Pope Gregory XV
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Tomb of Pope Gregory XV

Near the church entrance there were some interesting models.  We’re not sure what they were, but we took pictures of them.

Dome Model (the one that was never built?)

Model of Domed Structure

Model Detail

From the St. Ignatius Church, we returned to the apartment to get some rest.  Another full itinerary was planned for the following day, which would be our last full day in Italy.  After a couple of hours of rest, Bob and Nella started getting restless.  Philip and Connie were not inclined to budge, so Bob and Nella went out into Rome, with no particular destination in mind.

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