Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Sant'Andrea al Quirinale

This delightful Baroque church, dedicated to St Andrew, was commissioned by Cardinal Pamphilj for the Jesuit order and designed by Bernini. It is said the architect liked to visit to sit and enjoy his creation, which he considered to be one of his most perfect works.
The church is designed around an oval, with the short side leading to the altar, decorated with gilt, bronze & lapis lazu. A host of angels appear to be holding the painting of 'The Martydom of St Andrew' by Il Borgognone ('the Burgundian), a French - Italian artist. Your eyes are then drawn to the white marble sculpture of St Andrew ascending towards heaven, seemingly floating through the arch above the altar.

Heaven is represented by the gilded dome, decorated with cherubs and leading upwards to the lantern and the dove of the Holy Spirit.
More doves can be seen within the  marble interior as they are the Pamphilj family symbol.

Inspired by the Pantheon, Bernini used four gigantic columns to separate the altar chapel from the main hall. The columns are made of limestone from a quarry in the Sabine Hills.

The clever way in which Bernini has used the small space and employed different art forms to convey a feeling of grandeur make this one of the most satisfying churches to visit in Rome.

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