The visually arresting fresco in the centre of the gilded vault of the nave of the Church of the Gesù, mother church of the Jesuits, was painted between 1678 and 1679 by Giovanni Battista Gaulli (1639-1709), better known as il Baciccio.
The official name of the church is the Chiesa del Santissimo Nome di Gesù, and the fresco, one of the high points of Roman Baroque painting, illustrates the passage from St Paul's Epistle to the Philippians (2:10-11), 'that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow...and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.' The name of Jesus is represented by the letters IHS (the middle letter surmounted by a cross), a christogram, which denotes the first three letters of Jesus' name (ΙΗΣΟΥΣ) in Greek.
Gaulli also designed the stunning stucco work, which was executed by Antonio Raggi and Leonardo Retti.
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