San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane--page 4 (of four pages)


Side chapel with perspectively adjusted coffering


The coffered oval dome

Windows, barely visible at the base of the dome, add to the ethereal effect. The unusual coffering is comprised of circles with octagonal molding, unequal hexagons, and Greek crosses. (It reminds me of M. C. Escher.)
Thanks so much to Thomas Sullivan, OSB, for providing this information: "The medallions depict events from the history of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity for the Ramson of Captives (the Trinitarians) and from the life of Saint John of Matha, founder of the Order ca 1197. San Carlo is the home of the Discalced Trinitarians, a reform branch of the Trinitarian Order from the 16th century. Because of this, the medallions depict the history of the Order and events from the life of John of Matha."

Four relief medallions

Thomas Sullivan continues, "The first medallion probably shows the meeting of John of Matha and Felix of Valois (who may not be a historical figure), the two "founders" of the Order; the second shows the celebration of the Eucharist."
Sullivan continues, " the third portrays the approval of the Order by Pope Innocent III in 1198; and the fourth shows a ransoming of Christian captives from either North Africa or Spain."

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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.