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Il Gesù: Interior, view of nave and altar in apse
Architecture Library, Hesburgh Libraries
In July 1571 work began on the façade of Il Gesù, for which Cardinal Alessandro Farnese had favoured della Porta's design over those of Jacopo Vignola--who had largely designed the rest of the church--and Galeazzo Alessi. Della Porta also designed the high altar (1582) and the crossing (1584) of Il Gesù. Della Porta's design accentuated the verticality of the façade, thereby creating a strong central climax; this provided a precedent for successive Baroque façades. Il Gesù was the first permanent Roman church of the Jesuit Order.