L’Apocalypse sur terre: quelques réfexionssur l’imaginaire macabre jésuite au XVIIe siècle

Alessandra MASCIA


The suffering bodies of the martyrs painted in the late 16th century in Rome, on the walls of churches and Jesuit colleges, are not only images of political propaganda, but symbolic devices for meditation. In the churches of St. Stephen in the Round and St. Thomas of Canterbury or in the novitiate of St. Andrew’s at the Quirinal, the images of martyrdom, exhibited in an impressive repertoire of brutality, remembered the sacrifce to which the Jesuits were called. Looking at their image refected in this symbolic mirror, the Jesuits recognized themselves, in the earthly suffering well as in the heavenly bliss.

Keywords: Jesuit, Martyrdom, Imagery, Rome, Frescoes, 16th century, Meditation, Device