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San Luigi dei Francesi

San Luigi dei Francesi (57)

Well worth a visit is this national French church, established in 1518 by Cardinal Giulio de Medici, although not completed until 1589, over seventy years later.

This church is dedicated to Louis IX, the sanctified French monarch, and its construction involved Domenico Fontana and Giacomo Della Porta. 

Upon entering the church, you will see it has great marble decoration and abounds with statues. Its many features include the tombs of famous French people such as Chateaubriand, the lover of Pauline de Beaumont. 

If you head to the second chapel on the right, you will see the painting “Scenes from the Life of Saint Cecilia” by Domenichino. 

However, if you do pay this church a visit, you will very probably be looking out for the three magnificent paintings by Caravaggio, which are to be found in the Capilla Contarelli, the fifth chapel on the left. These are three works about the life of Saint Matthew and are called “The Calling of Saint Matthew”, “The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew” and “The Inspiration of Saint Matthew”. They are three marvellous examples of chiaroscuro and realism and show why Caravaggio is considered one of the best artists in history. 

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