Some years ago following a visit to the Museum of São Roque C. and I were allowed a quick glimpse of the church bearing the same name from one of the Museum doors, as it was undergoing works of restoration and though it seemed grandiose I had no idea how astoundingly beautiful it really is, until I finally had a chance to briefly visit it over the weekend and I say briefly because it definitely deserves to be thoroughly appreciated.
Said to be one of the earliest Jesuit churches and one that survived the 1755 earthquake relatively unscathed it houses an number of side chapels most of which in baroque style and dating back to the early 17th century.
The painted ceiling of the nave does catch one's immediate attention, it is almost impossible not to look at it upon walking into the Church interior. Being a tromp d'oeil to give the impression of barrel vaulting it was mostly painted between 1584 and 1586 by the Royal painter of King Philip II, Francisco Venegas, to which the central medallion was later added by the Jesuits.
I decided to start looking and photographing the side chapels as I moved towards the Chancel on the right hand side. The gilded work was really impressive, but so were the details in many of them with paintings having been embedded in the profusely rich decorations. It is no surprise it was considered one of the most expensive churches in Europe at the time.
I let myself be guided by instinct as far as the photos are concerned and not necessarily by what I had read, despite the difficulty of being able to get good images without flash.
(To be continued)