BaroqueChurches

The Baroque period (starting after 1600 in Rome and spreading through Europe)
was characterized by exaggerated grandeur, drama, and highly theatrical artwork.
Baroque art is intended to impress, displaying the power and wealth of patrons.

Baroque artists such as Bernini, Borromini, Caravaggio, and Reni
created works in a large number of churches in Rome. For this page
I have selected San Carlo al Corso and San Luigi dei Franchesi.

Baroque art is seen in many of the churches in the Rome section.

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San Carlo al Corso

Crucifixion Chapel
Ceiling Frescoes
Immaculate Conception Chapel
Blessed Sacrament Chapel

Apse and High Altar
Chapel of St. Olav
Fall of the Rebel Angels
Central Nave

San Luigi dei Francesi

St. Louis IX facade sculpture

Nave and High Altar

Central Nave detail

Apotheosis of St. Louis IX

High Altar detail

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Rome Collections page where a Gallery can be selected.

Direct Link to the Gallery with images of Roman Baroque Churches

There are a number of images in this section that are not yet on the Photoshelter site.
If an image you want is not yet uploaded, contact Ron Reznick (info at bottom of page).

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There are 18 Galleries in the Photoshelter Rome Collection

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San Carlo al Corso
(SS Ambrogio e Carlo al Corso)

Originally founded as the church of the Lombard community in 1471, the current
church was built in 1612 over the medieval church of San Nicola de Tofo and
dedicated to Saints Ambrose and Charles Borromeo, two Milanese saints.
The interior was decorated in the new Baroque style from the beginning.

Pietro da Cortona, one of three principal architects of the High Baroque
period in Rome (with GianLorenzo Bernini and Francesco Borromini) was
responsible for the decoration of the church. He created what is considered
to be one of the more important examples of the Roman Baroque church,
with expansive ceiling frescoes on gilded stuccoed vaults, faux-marble,
and chapels with exceptionally busy schemes filled with sculptures.

SanCarlo_alCorso_CrucifixionChapel_7955


San Carlo al Corso Crucifixion Chapel 7955
767 x 1290 (459 KB)

The first chapel on the right is the Crucifixion Chapel.
Note below the altar the marble reliquary housing martyrs.

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San Carlo al Corso Ceiling Detail 7956
783 x 1290 (406 KB)

Pietro da Cortona coordinated the work of an army of stucco artists, painters and sculptors. The vaults of the side naves of the church are framed in gilded carvings and frescoed.

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San Carlo al Corso Temperance Will Purity 7960
1500 x 1050 (595 KB)

These frescoes are all in the vaults of the right nave.

The fresco over the first vault, by Paolo Albertoni (1679): Temperance, Will and Purity.

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San Carlo al Corso Justice Peace Law Truth 7958
1500 x 1092 (545 KB)

Girolamo Troppa created the fresco over the second vault in 1678. Like the other
vault frescoes, it depicts allegorical figures, in this case Justice, Peace, Law and Truth.
Justice is depicted in the center with sword and scales, Law is shown to the right with a tablet.

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San Carlo al Corso Religion Chastity Prayer 7966 M
1500 x 1290 (779 KB)

The fresco depicting Religion, Purity, Chastity, Prayer and Fortitude,
was painted by Giovanni Battista Beinaschi in the third vault in 1678.

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Cupola San Carlo al Corso 7963
1500 x 1075 (389 KB)

Each of the side chapels has a small cupola.
This is the cupola over the first chapel on the right,
the Crucifixion Chapel shown in the first image.

Cupola_SanCarlo_alCorso_7965


Cupola San Carlo al Corso 7965
1500 x 1065 (514 KB)

This is the small cupola over the second chapel
on the right, dedicated to Mary, Aid of Christians.
The dome is frescoed over a textured surface.

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San Carlo al Corso Martyrdom 7968
1500 x 1092 (800 KB)

The fresco over the end of the right nave depicting Martyrdom, by Giacinto Brandi (1677).
The fresco is surrounded by gilded carvings and stucco work by Jacopo and Cosimo Fancelli.

SanCarlo_alCorso_ImmaculateConception_7987


San Carlo al Corso
Immaculate Conception 7987

790 x 1290 (506 KB)

The Chapel of the Immaculate Conception at the end of the right nave. The sculptures in this highly decorated chapel are arranged in a circular configuration centered on the altar.

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San Carlo al Corso
Immaculate Conception detail 7985 M

1200 x 1600 (806 KB)

The statue of Judith (with the head of Holofernes) by Pietro Pacilli (1760s) exhibits some traits of the upcoming style of Neo-Classicism. King David on the left (with harp) is posed in a more dramatic Baroque style. Angels sit atop the cornices and peek out from behind the altarpiece frame.

The mosaic altarpiece is the Immaculate Conception with Saints Augustin, Gregory the Great, John the Evangelist and John Chrysostom by an unknown artist, c. 1769.

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San Carlo al Corso
Blessed Sacrament Chapel 7970

800 x 1290 (507 KB)

The Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament at the end of the left nave. Again, every available space is occupied by Baroque decorations in a circular group centered on the chapel altar.

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San Carlo al Corso
Blessed Sacrament Chapel 7977 M

1200 x 1600 (696 KB)

Artists and architects were encouraged by the Catholic Church to create works in this ornate style in response to the Protestant Reformation. Both the church and the aristocracy were interested in expressions of power and wealth intended to impress the visitor with their opulence.

The altarpiece (originally painted for the high altar) is God the Father with Angels in Prayer (1632) by Tommaso Donini (il Caravaggino), also known as Tommaso Luini.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Rome Collections page where a Gallery can be selected.

Direct Link to the Gallery with images of Roman Baroque Churches

There are a number of images in this section that are not yet on the Photoshelter site.
If an image you want is not yet uploaded, contact Ron Reznick (info at bottom of page).

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There are 18 Galleries in the Photoshelter Rome Collection

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SanCarlo_alCorso_HighAltar_Apse_7975M


San Carlo al Corso
High Altar Apse 7975 M

986 x 1600 (603 KB)

The high altar and apse in the central nave, with stuccos by Jacopo and Cosimo Fancelli, the altarpiece by Carlo Maratta (detail below) and apse niche by Giacinto Brandi (detail right). Again, every available space is covered with decorations.

SanCarlo_alCorso_Apse_StCharles_7978M


San Carlo al Corso
Apse St. Charles 7978 M

1000 x 1600 (661 KB)

The apse niche and vault by Giacinto Brandi (1677). The vault is St. Charles in Glory, and the apse niche represents St. Charles amongst those afflicted by the Plague, painted to resemble a tapestry which is held up by festooned Fancelli figures (sorry... I simply could not resist the alliteration).

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San Carlo al Corso High Altar 7983 M
993 x 1600 (631 KB)

The high altar includes the fresco of St. Charles in Glory, considered to be a masterpiece of Carlo Maratta. The apse is decorated with faux-marble pilasters with gilded capitals, and the gilded frame is surmounted by beautifully sculpted gilded angels. Three stuccoed Fancelli angels above the cornice and atop the pediment hold the gilded Borromeo crown.

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San Carlo al Corso High Altar detail 7983 M
1000 x 1600 (576 KB)

Detail of Carlo Maratta’s altarpiece of St. Charles in Glory. Above the gilded angels atop the gilded frame, the inscription Honorificentia Populi Nostri (Honor of the People). The altarpiece shows St. Charles Borromeo and St. Ambrose (with the book) in ecclesiastical robes kneeling on clouds with Christ, the Virgin Mary and Angels in a colorful composition.

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San Carlo al Corso Ambulatory 7989
774 x 1290 (309 KB)

The exceedingly dark ambulatory behind the apse. The niches hold stucco sculptures by Francesco Cavallini (1678-82). The ambulatory is also decorated with frescoes in gilt frames, but the vaults were so dark that I knew there was no possibility of coming away with a usable image, as it required shooting overhead handheld at 1/2 second, f/1.4 (this guarantees a blurry result, and when shooting art, blurring ruins the image).

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San Carlo al Corso St. Olav 7991 M
949 x 1600 (439 KB)

The Chapel of St. Olav of Norway, dedicated to the martyr king killed in the Battle of Stiklestad (1030). Olav stands atop a dragon (representing his victory over his Viking past), holding a golden orb with a cross representing his conversion to Christianity. Painted by Pius Wleonski. The Sacred Heart below St. Olav was painted by Marco Carichia in 1797. The relics of the Roman martyr Saturninus are below the altar.

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San Carlo al Corso
Fall of the Rebel Angels 7993 M

1000 x 1600 (681 KB)

The Fall of the Rebel Angels by Giacinto Brandi (1674-79). The fresco dominates the central nave vault designed by Pietro da Cortona, filling nearly the entire ceiling.

SanCarlo_alCorso_Fall_ofTheRebelAngels_detail_7993M


San Carlo al Corso
Fall of the Rebel Angels detail 7993 M

1000 x 1600 (462 KB)

Detail of the upper section of Giacinto Brandi’s masterpiece of Baroque art. Until the recent restoration (2001), this fresco was obscured by the dirt and soot of centuries.

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San Carlo al Corso Nave Apse 7995
747 x 1290 (451 KB)

This view of the center of the nave shows Pietro da Cortona’s entire concept of decoration. The spandrels of his dome and the vaults and niches are all frescoed, with stucco accents.

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San Carlo al Corso Nave Apse 8001
754 x 1290 (467 KB)

The faux marble pilasters are topped with gilded capitals, and everything above the cornices is gilded, stuccoed, or covered with frescoes and stucco Fancelli figures and angels.

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San Carlo al Corso Nave Apse 7997
1500 x 1075 (581 KB)

A wide shot showing the left side of San Carlo al Corso’s nave.

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San Carlo al Corso Nave Apse 7998
1500 x 1092 (601 KB)

A wide shot showing the right side of San Carlo al Corso’s nave.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Rome Collections page where a Gallery can be selected.

Direct Link to the Gallery with images of Roman Baroque Churches

There are a number of images in this section that are not yet on the Photoshelter site.
If an image you want is not yet uploaded, contact Ron Reznick (info at bottom of page).

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There are 18 Galleries in the Photoshelter Rome Collection

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San Luigi dei Francesi
(St. Louis of France)

The French National church in Rome, San Luigi dei Francesi was built on
the site of the Baths of Agrippa and the Baths of Nero after the area was acquired
by the Medici in the early 16th century. Cardinal Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici, who was
later Pope Clement VII commissioned the church in 1518. Construction was halted
in 1527 during the Sack of Rome. It was completed by Domenico Fontana
in 1589, working on Baroque designs by Giacomo della Porta.

SanLuigi_deiFrancesi_Facade_6533


San Luigi dei Francesi Facade 6533
1600 x 875 (404 KB)

Giacomo della Porta’s facade is independent of the building itself. It houses statues of French
National historical figures and Saints (Charlemagne, St. Louis, St. Clothilde and St. Jeanne of Valois).
In the pediment atop the facade is the Coat of Arms of the Valois flanked by two statues, by Nicolo Pippi.

SanLuigi_deiFrancesi_StLouis_IX_Facade_6535


San Luigi dei Francesi
St. Louis IX Facade 6535

795 x 1290 (425 KB)

The statue of St. Louis IX, by Pierre L’Estache, in a niche on the lower right of the facade. Louis IX, the only canonized French King (1226 to 1270), led two unsuccessful Crusades.

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San Luigi dei Francesi
Side Nave 6544

746 x 1290 (425 KB)

The remarkably subdued side nave of San Luigi dei Francesi.

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San Luigi dei Francesi Nave High Altar 6550
760 x 1290 (486 KB)

You can see why I described the side nave as subdued.

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San Luigi dei Francesi Nave detail 6540 M
1000 x 1600 (685 KB)

The nave is a veritable riot of Baroque decoration, with gilded stucco everywhere. The figures in the apse stand out for their lack of gilding. Catherine of Medici paid for the gold and work.

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San Luigi dei Francesi Nave High Altar 6550 M
1200 x 1600 (853 KB)

Detail of the central nave and apse, with Assumption altarpiece by Francesco Bassano.
The ceiling is one of the most highly ornate in Rome (and probably uses the most gold).

You may have noticed from the smaller, uncropped version of this image in the row above,
services were being held in the church and the Cappella Contarelli, so I was unfortunately
unable to get shots of Carravagio’s three renowned canvases of the Life of St. Matthew.
I actually had to sneak the shots I took in the nave and exit before I disturbed the service.

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San Luigi dei Francesi
Natoire St. Louis 6537 M

1000 x 1700 (797 KB)

The Apotheosis of St. Louis IX in the vault of the
central nave, by Charles Joseph Natoire (1754-56).

SanLuigi_deiFrancesi_OrganLoft_detail_6546M


San Luigi dei Francesi
Organ Loft detail 6546 M

1000 x 1600 (551 KB)

Detail of Antoine Derizet’s loft (mid-1700s)
which holds the organ by Joseph Merklin (19th c.).
The loft is ‘supported’ by two groups of stucco angels
and putti (the putti carefully perched atop their clouds).

SanLuigi_deiFrancesi_Altar_detail_6540c


San Luigi dei Francesi Altar detail 6540c
960 x 1290 (685 KB)

Detail of the apse and altarpiece (Assumption by Francesco Bassano).

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Rome Collections page where a Gallery can be selected.

Direct Link to the Gallery with images of Roman Baroque Churches

There are a number of images in this section that are not yet on the Photoshelter site.
If an image you want is not yet uploaded, contact Ron Reznick (info at bottom of page).

PhotoshelterGallerySection


There are 18 Galleries in the Photoshelter Rome Collection

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