Giovanni Paolo Panini, Interior of St. Peter’s in Rome, 1750s
Pieter Jansz Saenredam, 1635, Choir of Sint-Bavokerk, Haarlem
John Martin, 1839, The Coronation of Queen Victoria
Chiesa del Gesù, Rome
These are some photographs I took whilst visiting the Chiesa del Gesù in Rome last April. The church is the Jesuit mother church, and has become a design model for many subsequent churches built for the Roman Catholic Society of Jesus. Its full name is ‘Chiesa del Santissimo Nome di Gesù all’Argentina’ and it can be found just southeast of the Pantheon and northwest of the summit of the Capitoline Hill.
The Chiesa del Gesu was completed in 1580 and features a Baroque facade designed by Giacomo della Porta. However, it is the stunning, elaborate interior that gives the church a status of an artistic treasure hidden amongst the busy and densely-packed residential streets of Rome. The ceiling is home to a piece by High Baroque painter Giovanni Battista Gaulli (also known as Baciccio), entitled The Triumph of the Name of Jesus, shown here directly, and in the angled floor mirror placed near the entrance of the church.
Ivan Aivazovsky, n.d, St Isaac’s Cathedral, St Petersburg
Maurice Utrillo, c.1913, Chartres Cathedral
Aurora Borealis by Frederic Edwin Church, 1865
From the Smithsonian American Art Museum: The ship and sled team in this image belonged to Frederic Church’s friend, polar explorer Dr. Isaac Hayes. Hayes had led an Arctic expedition in 1860, and gave his sketches from the trip to the artist as inspiration for this painting. Hayes returned from his voyage to find the country in the thick of the Civil War, and in a rousing speech vowed that “God willing, I trust yet to carry the flag of the great Republic, with not a single star erased from its glorious Union, to the extreme northern limits of the earth.” Viewers understood Church’s painting of the Aurora Borealis (also known as the northern lights) as a portent of disaster, a divine omen relating to the conflict.
Interior of the Buurkerk, Utrecht by Pieter Saenredam, 1645
Interior of the Sint-Bavokerk in Haarlem by Pieter Jansz Saenredam, c.1630. I am yet to find an artist who studies church interiors as thoroughly as Saenredam. His work gives you a real sense of the height and grandness of Dutch churches in the Gothic style. In this particular image, the presence of humans in the nave give a further understanding of scale.
Munich Schwabing with the Church of St. Ursula by Wassily Kandinsky, 1908. Kandinsky is arguably best known for his purely abstract compositions of circles and linework. But a lot of his earlier work features more recognisable subjects and shapes, with confident Impressionist-style brushstrokes.
Village Church by Maurice Utrillo, [n.d]. This Impressionist depiction of a church has an almost imposing atmosphere with its secluded location and darkened skies. Utrillo was the son of artist’s model Suzanne Valadon, though the identity of his father was never discovered.
Ottobeuren Abbey basilica interior in Ottobeuren, Germany. I cannot find a designer for this Rococo work, but I believe it was done during the time of Abbot Rupert Ness in the early 18th century.