|San Luigi dei Francesi|
|English name:||St Louis of the French|
|Dedication:||Louis IX of France|
|Titular church||Cardinal Vingt-Trois|
|Built:||1518 - 1589|
|Architect(s):||de Chenevière, Fontana, della Porta|
|Artists:||Francesco Bassano, Caravaggio|
|Address:|| 5 Piazza San Luigi dei Francesi / Via Santa Giovanna d'Arco|
San Luigi dei Francesi is the French national church, dedicated to St Louis IX, King of France.
Pictures of the church at Wikimedia Commons. 
The site was owned by the monks of the abbey of Farfa. It was full of remains of Roman buildings, including the Baths of Agrippa and the Baths of Nero. In the early 16th century, the Medici family took over. Cardinal Giulio de Medici, later Pope Clement VII, commissioned Jean de Chenevière to build a church for the French community here in 1518. Building was halted when Rome was sacked in 1527, and it was finally completed in 1589 by Domenico Fontana.
The façade is most likely the work of Giacomo della Porta. It's in two storeys crowned by a tympanon, and has three doors and two niches with statues. You can also see a salamander, the heraldic symbol of Francis I.
The statues portray French men and women: Charlemagne, St Louis IX (King of France, killed in the 8th crusade in 1270), St Clotilde (5th century Queen of the Franks), St Joan of Valois (daughter of Louis XI, founder of the Order of the Nuns of Annuniziata in 1500).
The church has five chapels on each side of the nave.
The frescoes in the ceiling depicting St Louis were painted in 1756 by Charles Joseph Natoire, famous for his paintings at Versailles.
At the high altar is a painting of the Annunciation by Francesco Bassano.
The fifth chapel on the left was decorated by Caravaggio 1599-1602; the artist was commissioned by Cardinal Mathieu Cointrel. The paintings depict three scenes from the life of St Matthew: the Call of St Matthew, the Martyrdom of St Matthew and Matthew and the Angel. The Madonna at the entrance to the chapel is from the 15th century.
The first chapel on the right-hand side has frescoes of the Life of St Cecilia by Domenichino, painted 1616-1617.
Please note that to protect the Caravaggio paintings in the church, flash photography is strictly forbidden. There are coin-operated lights by the paintings, and as you can see above, it is possible to take pictures without flash.
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