Sunday, July 22, 2007

Altar of St Ignatius Loyola in the Gesù

POZZO, Andrea (b. 1642, Trento, d. 1709, Wien)
Altar of St Ignatius Loyola
Marble, bronze
Il Gesù, Rome

Andrea Pozzo was an artist, an architect, decorator, painter, art theoretician, and a Jesuit brother.

His masterpiece, the decoration of Rome's Jesuit churches Il Gesu and Sant'Ignazio, determined for several generations the style of internal decoration of late Baroque churches in most of Europe.

The statue of the saint is beneath a representation of the Trinity. This group is surrounded by gilt-bronze and marble reliefs illustrating scenes from Loyola's ministry as well as large marble tableaux of the triumphs of Faith and Religion.

Some one hundred artists and artisans worked on the altar, and the most important commissions went to two Frenchmen. Jean-Baptist Théodon (1645-1713) and Pierre Le Gros the Younger (1666-1719).

Théodon executed the over life-size marble group of the Triumph of Faith over Idolatry and Le Gros the Religion Overthrowing Heresy and Hatred.