The first Jesuit Church in Rome was begun in 1534 and completed by 1584. It is quite plain compared to many of the more exuberant Baroque churches of the City, but has a grace and neatness sometimes lacking from the more elaborate structures. Today it seems hemmed in by the buildings around it and occupies a busy corner shared by the via Aracoeli and Corse Vittorio Emanuele which destroys any chance of a serene atmosphere.
However, once inside the impression is of splendour. The interior decorations are very elaborate and showy, particularly the ceiling which is one of the triumphs of the High Baroque style.
This style of Il Gesù was copied extensively wherever the Jesuits set up a church (see for instance the Jesuit Church of Dubrovnik).
Photo - Andrew J. Müller
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