Saturday, June 17, 2017
200 Views of Rome: Chiesa Del Gesu
Here we have another in an amazingly long line of churches in Rome that I must recommend with the faint "Well, if you're passing by, it would be kind of terrible not to go in, but you don't really need to make any particular trip over to it."
But here it is with five stars. It is one of the most amazing interiors I have ever seen. It is in the top 100 ever!
Unfortunately 78 of those are in Rome.
So, yes, Rome, fecund, bursting at the seams Rome is our first problem. Without any Caravaggio painting, Borromini architecture, Bernini Sculpture (though supposedly he prayed here regularly) or point of total differentiation from other Baroque interiors, I have to take a few moments of trying to sort out Del Gesu from the other churches we went into. What I remember is that there was some construction going on, altering the approach and access to the church. I remember how it is just off the unappealingly busy street Corso Emmanuale. And I remember we went in there three or four times, mostly because I forgot whether I'd been in there or not, or forgot what it looked like and thought I should take another look.
The inside of Del Gesu looks like this:
There is a clear and beautiful Autumn day. The sky is full of grand, puffy clouds that threaten no rain and look like fairy castles in the air. You have the sharpest knife in the world. So, idly, to test your knife, you cut into the belly of the clouds.
Del Gesu is what spills out.