Sant'Andrea al Quirinale--page 2 (of three pages)

Gianlorenzo Bernini


This small church has an oval plan with the transverse axis longer than the main axis between the entrance and altar. See also Bernini's rival's church, further down the road--Borromini's San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane. It too is located on a small site and uses an oval plan, although in Bernini's church the main entrance and high altar are on the short axis of the oval.

View toward the altar and view toward the entrance

A sculpted St. Andrew rises above the altar-niche, soaring to heaven on stucco clouds. The architecture of the interior is designed to focus attention on this dramatic miracle.

The High Altar

The high altar is flanked by two pairs of fluted Corinthian columns in red marble. Baroque architects were fond of vari-colored marbles. The painting represents the martyrdom of St. Andrew, to whom the church is dedicated.

The apotheosis of St. Andrew

The stucco saint above the altar, looking toward the light in the dome, kneels on a cloud within the broken pediment. This statue was carved by one of Bernini's pupils, Antonio Raggi.

Concealed light source--a common Bernini trick


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© 2006 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.