About Chiesa del Gesu
The Chiesa del Gesu is an historic church in Rome notable for both its artistic wonders and its place as the centre of the Catholic Jesuit Order.
The brainchild of the founder of the Jesuits, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Ignatius himself did not live to see his vision realised. However, the project was driven forward by Ignatius’ successors and, with funding from the powerful Farnese family the majority of the church was complete by 1589, at which point worked stopped after the death of the major benefactor, Cardinal Alessandro Farnese.
It took almost one hundred years for major work on the Chiesa del Gesu to resume, with the addition of the ceiling decorations for which the church is so well known today. However, with the suppression of the order in the late 18th century, many of the church’s original possessions were lost. It was not until the restoration and further investment in the church in the mid-19th century that the church regained its former glory.
Among the artwork to be found within the Chiesa del Gesu today are a number of stunning frescoes, the famous ceiling paintings – which are said to give the impression that angels are descending from the heavens through the roof – as well as the tomb of Ignatius Loyola.