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we're standing the three of us outside of Sant'Andrea al Kareem Ali I don't know how my Italian perfect perfect Church by Bernini a small church because there was not much space to build and he was told by the Jesuit that he should build and design the architecture within this limited area and he's done a magnificent thing he's used what's called a giant order of architecture which means that the steps that lead up to the Church of the porch and the whole body of the church itself are enclosed within a single giant pilaster on each side and a huge elevation which gives it a monumentality that really makes you forget how relatively small it is he also has the steps spilling out into the street in a series of concentric ovals like ripples he loved movement has always movement in his architecture which prepares us for the inside as we will see the inside has an oval plan when I go and salutely I can't wait to see it so we've just entered into the church and we're in this beautiful oval form and that's actually as we walk in it opens more broadly to our left and our right it's a horizontal oval not what you expect you'd expect to first of all a church you erect a quadrangular space of some kind of cross shaped space and this too is something which could not have happened during the Renaissance there would have been a circular plan this is an oval one and it's interesting to see that will come to an oval again and just down the street with borromini's often compared as a kind of rival to this in some ways it is not something I really know it also st. Peter's Square yes which is elliptical actually two ellipses and that sense of well it's like the difference in classical ballet and modern ballet there's a sense of sort of expansion while keeping to certain symmetries this is rigorously symmetrical but the thing that most strikes us as we go in is beyond and above the altar we have light it looks like theatrical eye protection real light filtered in through a window that we can't see and he loves doing that he does Accenture is in the center area and in st. Peters and it filters down on this group of tumbling well they're moving up and down at the same time joyous of musical angels and cherubs set against massive rays of light and they're made of stucco and gold and bronze yes sir well as we approach the altar in the curve of the oval and we have originally appointed altar and seats and all of that but we have a central painting of the martyrdom of st. Andrew Sant'Andrea is st. Andrew in Italian that is the dedicate a of the church and he is very important in the Christian faith not just for Catholics he is the brother of st. Peter so there are many churches dedicated to him in Rome and he is the figure nailed to a x-shaped cross which we call a st. Andrew's cross and that is what is framed within these cherubs and angels and fictive but very solid rays of light what's it what's also interesting is that the painting itself is framed in the same marble as the blasters yeah so it really is not a painting as we would normally understand it within an architectural space it's fully integrated again it's that combination of solid and void of rich material in sculpture and architecture and painting it is this complete work of art again and theatricality and if we get too close as it where we're standing right in front of your thing look up we see the source of that light that the congregation would normally see and whether it's daylight or electric but there is space for daylight that is what bathes the area in light this beautiful second Lantern exactly area and that of course is is pure theatrical expedient the color of the columns and the pilasters and the gorgeous colors of the different stone materials that we used to build this church our earthly colors compared these columns to what I would think of prosciutto maybe some people say hamburger meat we're not being flippant we're looking at Browns and whites and streaks of what would be the fat in in in the prosciutto but this relates to food in a perfectly serious way that is something of the earth all of that gives way when your eyes are taken up into the vaulting of the whole church to pure colors and they are heavenly colors down below it's earth up above it's only white and gold and those are the colors of paradise and as we'll see seen Andrew dying on the cross in the painting yields to a statue actually exploding out of the level down below into the upper level and that is a white statue and he's being carried up to heaven and that called in the lantern yes well that gold is enhanced of course by having stained-glass a simple simple expedient ancient and modern we simply use glass that is in this case yellow so even on a on a cloudy day like today it gives this sense of a glow of the holy spirit Bob and that is what is shown in that lantern the very top of the building what I'm really taken by is the way that the structural ribs of the dome are structured as rays that emanate from the Dove it's a two-way thing that you've hit it on the head it both emanates from that dove and brings us divine grace which comes from the holy spirit and inspiration but also it leads the eye upward whichever way you look at it it works to go from this very decorated oval shape that we have below to something that resolves into as I said pure gold and white and light and that vaulting the dome itself which is so oval is full of people in white now they're made of stucco these are statues of both men and boys the boys of course a little cherubs we can see them in the angels the men are fishermen and they have nets and this is to remind us that Andrew was a fisherman and he liked his brother st. Peter there that first two apostles were called to the ministry by Jesus of Nazareth and some of the figure thing to be moving from the lantern down yes in the Renaissance well let's say a hundred fifty years before this maintain ia's famous the cameras posey the view up or down according to which way you look at it included figures that look down on us and we have the Elizabeth we're being observed just as we observe that and this does that perfectly we have this dissolving of the earthly and the spirituals by having figures midway between one and the other and none is more obvious than Andrew himself who stands in a white statue in the broken pediment yes and the pediment is broken so that he can be released from earth up to heaven where his head was that fabulous contrast then between the suffering of an throw in the painting and then the spiritual representation of spiritual release and eternity and remember that everyone at that time would have believed in death as something that is almost comforting we referred to this in the Jesu this God's time is the best time whoever says that at least it's much better of course the release and the absence of what we now have is fear and apprehension and even terror of death because we don't think much about the afterlife everyone was sure that they were going to an eternal place not of ultimate happiness you had to work your way through and that's what purgatory is for and as long as you weren't going to help but it was a certainty and it was something that was seen as better than this life and death was of course ubiquitous because of infant mortality recurrent outbreaks of plague people that we absolutely we don't even like to talk about it and this kind of painting and sculpture and architecture is also reassuring and comforting it sounds paradoxical but about death about well it's not death it's a new life that's why I think often about that when we see images of saints the death of Chrysler death Mary being at a deathbed was not unusual you know that they could relate because we've been I'm going to show you now the ultimate deathbed in Rob that's case and that is a statue upstairs behind the church let's go there