Study after Andrea Pozzo's trompe-l'oeil dome


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Italian school of the 18th century, after Andrea Pozzo

Study after Andrea Pozzo’s trompe-l’oeil dome


316 x 294 mm – 12 7/16 x 11 9/16 in.


This study of a dome refers to a model[1] (fig. 1) from the treatise Perspectiva pictorum et architectorum by Andrea Pozzo, a painter and architect considered to be one of the theorists of perspective in European Baroque painting and architecture. In 1685, he created, among other things, the masterful feint vault (17 metres) of the church of Sant’Ignazio di Loyola in Rome, dedicated to Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus. In 1704, he went to Vienna, invited by Leopold I, and repeated the same type of decoration in the « trompe l’œil » vault of the Jesuit church. A painting by the artist, kept in the Museo del Barocco Romano in Ariccia, illustrates a similar composition.


Known for his illusionist frescoes and for combining scenic devices with religious architecture, Andrea Pozzo, himself a Jesuit, worked almost exclusively for the Society of Jesus. He began his career decorating Jesuit churches in Bologna, Arezzo, Mondovì and Turin, and in 1681 moved to Rome where he was appreciated for his extraordinary ability to use perspective.

Fig. 1

[1] Andrea Pozzo Perspectiva Pictorum et Architectorum, vol. I, Rome, 1693, fig. 91 (Getty Research Institute).