The Chiesa del Gesù is a Jesuit church in the center of Frascati. It is located near the city’s cathedral. The highlight is the trompe l’oeil dome created by Andrea Pozzo, who was famous famous for these kinds of “confuse-the-eyes”.
Chiesa del Gesù Frascati
The address of the Chiesa del Gesù is Piazza del Gesù – 00044 Frascati (tel. +39 06 9417768). Opening hours: Unknown. Entrance fee: Free.
History and Description
Before the Chiesa del Gesù was constructed, a sanctuary dedicated to the Beata Vergine Maria was located in this spot. The Church was built by the Jesuits in the first half of the 17th century. Jesuit churches built in Rome in previous years were used as examples for tis architecture.
Originally Carlo Fontana was hired for the construction of the church. When his project became too costly, Gregorio Castrichini, who was a priest himself, ended up completing the work in the year 1700.
The travertine marble facade consists of two levels. The statues in the niches of the lower part depict Ignazio di Loyola and Francesco Borgia.
An inscription from 1773 in a plaque above the portal recalls that the church used to be dedicated to San Gregorio Magno.
The interior consists of a single nave.
What to see
There is a lot of playing with perspective in the church’s Baroque decorations, starting with Andrea Pozzo’s signature dome. The interior of the “dome”, at the intersection of nave and transept, is actually painted on a canvas measuring 8 meters in diameter. A black floor tile indicates the best spot to enjoy Pozzo’s creation.
The frescoes in the chapels of the transept also play around with the perspective.
In the apse, a “Circumcision of Jesus” is painted on the concave wall. The canopy above the painting is covered by a false roof painted on the wall.
Andrea Pozzo also painted “The Flight into Egypt.”