San Luigi dei Francesi is the National Church of the French in Rome

San Luigi dei Francesi

San Luigi dei Francesi (Photo credit: Context Travel)

San Luigi dei Francesi, interno

San Luigi dei Francesi, interno (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

San Luigi Dei Francesi

San Luigi Dei Francesi (Photo credit: _Pixelmaniac_)

San Luigi dei Francesi is a church of Rome.

San Luigi dei Francesi is a church of Rome. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Interior of Church San Luigi dei Fran...

English: Interior of Church San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

San Luigi dei Francesi Church in Rome is the national church of the French. It is dedicated to St. Louis IX, King of France from 1226-1270. The church was designed by Giacomo della Porta and built by Domenico Fontana between 1518 and 1589. It was completed with the assistance of funding from Catherine de’ Medici who donated some property in the area.

In 1518, Pope Leo X gave permission for the French community to erect a church in Rome. The facade is by Giocomo Della Porta. The left niche has a statue of Charlemagne and the right niche has a statue of Louis IX. The coat of arms of France is in the tympanum.

Mac9010

Mac9010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

San Luigi dei Francesi, affreschi

San Luigi dei Francesi, affreschi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

San Luigi dei Francesi, facciata

San Luigi dei Francesi, facciata (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Chapel of Saint Cecelia has magnificent frescoes by Domenichino. These frescoes depict the Life of Saint Cecilia and include: St. Cecelia Distributes Clothing to the Poor, the Martydom of St. Cecelia and St. Cecelia in Glory.

san luigi dei francesi

san luigi dei francesi (Photo credit: serguei_2k)

Some of the other artists represented in the church are:  Muziano who painted St. Nicholas of Bari and Antoine Derizet who decorated the ornate cupola. Massei painted St. Sebastian. The beautiful “Nativity” was done by Charles Mellin.

San Luigi dei Francesi, pala

San Luigi dei Francesi, pala (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

San Luigi dei Francesi, Caravaggio, san matteo

San Luigi dei Francesi, Caravaggio, san matteo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

San Luigi dei Francesi

San Luigi dei Francesi (Photo credit: torre.elena)

The church’s most famous cycle of paintings are in the  Contarelli Chapel with tree paintings by Caravaggio depicting the life of St. Matthew: The Calling of St Matthew, The Inspiration of Saint Matthew and The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew. The Calling of St. Matthew shows Christ with his extended hand showing Matthew as his choice. The Martyrdom of St. Matthew shows the apostle being dragged from the altar. The last painting was the altarpiece, St. Matthew and the Angel.

The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew

The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Interior of Church San Luigi dei Francesi, Rom...

Interior of Church San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome. Italiano: Soffitto di San Luigi dei Francesi. Affresco con l'”Apoteosi di San Luigi” di Charles-Joseph Natoire, 1754-1756 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

High altar the church San Luigi dei Francesi A...

High altar the church San Luigi dei Francesi Assumption by Francesco Bassano the Younger (late 16th century) in Rome. Français : Maître-autel de l’église Saint-Louis-des-Français Assomption de Francesco Bassano Le Jeune (fin du XVIe siècle) à Rome. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

San Luigi dei Francesi, pala

San Luigi dei Francesi, pala (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Italiano: Chiesa di San Luigi dei Francesi, ca...

Italiano: Chiesa di San Luigi dei Francesi, cappella Contarelli. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To see more of Caravaggio, visit the church of Santa Maria del Popolo in Piazza del Popolo. You will find: The Conversion of St. Paul and the Martyrdom of St. Peter where he is being crucified upwide down. Then go to the Church of St. Augustine to see the “Madonna of the Pilgrims.”

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

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One response to “San Luigi dei Francesi is the National Church of the French in Rome

  1. Pingback: Borromini’s Church of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane in Rome | Vino Con Vista Italy Travel Guides and Events

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