The church of Sant' Andrea della Valle was begun in 1591 for the Order of the Theatines, which had been founded in 1524 by Giampietro Caraffa, who later became Pope Paul IV (r. 1555-59).
The initial architects were Giacomo della Porta and Pier Paolo Olivieri. Work was later carried out by Carlo Maderno, who added the fine dome, the second highest in the city.
The facade was designed by Carlo Rainaldi and completed in 1665, during the reign of Pope Alexander VI (r. 1655-67). It is crowned with the pope's coat of arms and emblazoned with the inscription: ALEXANDER SEPT[imus] P[ontifex] M[aximus] S[ancto] ANDREAE APOSTOLO AN[no] SALVTIS MDCLXV.
The four statues depict St Cajetan, St Andrew, St Sebastian and St Andrew Avvelino. Domenico Guidi carved the first and third statues, while Ercole Ferrata carved the second and fourth. Each statue is surmounted by a pair of putti bearing symbols of martyrdom.
The statues of Hope and Strength, above the main entrance, are the work of Antonio Fancelli.
Blogging about Rome,
its art, history and culture.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private and
small-group walking tours
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