The two monumental, matching altars in the church of Sant' Ignazio di Loyola are dedicated to St Aloysius Gonzaga (1568-91) and St John Berchmans (1599-1621), two Jesuit students, who both died in their early twenties while studying in Rome.
The altars were designed by Andrea Pozzo (1642-1709), the Jesuit lay-brother who painted the glorious ceiling fresco in the nave of the church. The enormous barley-sugar columns are carved from verde antico, a dark green marble quarried in Greece.
The altar in the right transept is dedicated to St Aloysius Gonzaga and the marble bas-relief (1698), depicting the apotheosis of the saint, is the work of the French sculptor Pierre Legros the Younger (1666-1719). The two marble angels, which hold lilies in honour of the saint's purity, are by Bernardino Ludovisi (c. 1693-1749).
The altar in the left transept is dedicated to St John Berchmans. The marble bas-relief of the Annunciation is by the Florentine sculptor Filippo della Valle (1698-1768). The angels are the work of the Roman sculptor Pietro Bracci (1700-73).
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 walking tours of Rome.
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