Sacred Heart Altar, Sant'Ignazio, Rome

Posted by MadScientist (Düsseldorf, Germany) on 8 April 2008 in Art & Design.

Another extravagance of Sant'Ignazio: The Sacred Heart altar. Neither could I find a decent description nor any acceptable photographs of this altar, so I guess this image is one of the better ones.

The Sacred Heart devotion is part of Catholic spirituality and folk religion, where Jesus' heart is being worshipped as representation for the love of God towards mankind. Origins emerged from German mysticism in the Middle Ages (among other things). The Sacred Heart devotion was especially propagated by the Jesuits and so it's no wonder that we can find an altar dedicated to the Sacred Heart in the Jesuit church of Sant'Ignazio. When the Society of Jesus had been banned in several countries during the 18th century, usually Sacred Heart devotion was prohibited as well. After the restauration of the Jesuit order, Sacred Heart devotion revitalized and became very popular in the late 18th and 19th century.

Michael Skorulski from Cigel, Slovakia

Certainly a lovely and extravagant image! Well taken!

8 Apr 2008 6:30am

@Michael Skorulski: Thanks, Michael! I was searching for about 2 hrs to find some information about that altar, I wasn't even certain if I did make that photo in St Ignazio. So this was kind of detectice work :)

MaryB from Staffordshire, United Kingdom

Beautiful MS and I found your information very interesting. As a child we alway had a large picture of the Sacred Heart on our wall at home, below the picture there was a place to write your family's names, parents and children, it's got me wondering what happend to it, sadly I have no one to ask.

8 Apr 2008 9:52am

@MaryB: My guess: it's in the cellar, attic, or rolled up and lying on top of a cabinet. :)

Laurie from New Jersey, United States

Incredibly ornate adornments. Churches fascinate me. There are some that are so simple and some that are ornate like this and everything in between.

Very nice view. I like the inclusion of people.

8 Apr 2008 10:28am

@Laurie: For me the most interesting part is to discover history within and around churches. Churches are a vivid link into our past (and future, who knows) with religion as a connection between the eras. To see a place where people celebrate their most important moments in life (and doing this for several centuries) and to meet a system of values that is worlds apart of the daily struggle is both touching and consolatory. And this is valid not only for churches.

Tracey from Baltimore, United States

I love the rich gold tones in this church.

8 Apr 2008 3:33pm

@Tracey: It's a very shiny one, I had to attenuate the brightness a little bit. I've never seen such an altar before, the central plate with the crucifix looked quite 'modern' to me.

Twelvebit from Victoria, United States

The altar looks pre-Renaissance....is it?

8 Apr 2008 4:03pm

@Twelvebit: Actually I don't have any data about that altar. But let's check the data: that church has been built from 1627 to 1685, it was (and is) a representative building to show the glory and power of the SJ, so I guess they filled it with contemporary art of their era. I'm no art historian, but I'd say it is most likely 'pure' Baroque.

Hoopand from Tehran, Iran

nice shot....

8 Apr 2008 5:41pm

@Hoopand: Thanks, Hoopand! :)

Ina from Krugersdorp, South Africa

Love the warm colors. Very well captured!

8 Apr 2008 6:18pm

@Ina: Thanks :) Sometimes unbelievable what treasures are hidden in these small chapels...

Brites from Povoa de Santa Iria, Portugal

Well framed.

10 Apr 2008 8:46pm

@Brites: Unfortunately with less light, but I liked its unique design!

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