Pozzo’s Perspective: Visual Hagiography in the Church of St. Ignatius, Rome
Murphy, John Paul
The Order of the Society Jesus was among the foremost creators and commissioners of Counter-Reformation Baroque art. Founded in 1534 by St. Ignatius of Loyola, the Jesuits came to be regarded as one of the most potent forces of the Counter-Reformation, due at least in part to the order’s high visibility through their worldwide network of building projects. Part of art history’s continuing fascination with the Jesuits involves the controversial search for a “Jesuit Style” of art, an approach to image production that is immediately identifiable as Jesuitical. Though a thorough discussion of the Jesuit style is outside the limits of this paper, the Jesuit worldview (including the Jesuit perception of the role of art) is central to interpreting how artists were employed in constructing Jesuit self-identity. Nowhere is this process of identity-construction more apparent than in The Church of St. Ignatius in Rome, built to celebrate both Ignatius and the active ministry of his order throughout the globe.