Façade of the Church of St. Paul and St. Louis at Paris

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The St-Paul-St-Louis Church is located in Paris on Rue Saint Antoine in the Marais. The church was begun in 1627 and completed in 1641 and is an examaple of Jesuit architecture. It was designed based on the Gesú church in Rome. The letters IHS, as shown on the front of the church, is an abbreviation, the first three letters, of Jesus’ name in Greek, ΙΗΣΟΥΣ, translated into English characters. “In this style curved lines of the most varied description supersede all straight lines both in ground plans and in designs, whilst the most ordinary and characteristic embellishments are volutes, shellfish, and scrolls; groups of fruit and garlands of flowers, hangings, curtains, etc. [shown here].” “During the time that the license of the Roccoco Style prevailed, the elements of the ancient columnar orders were often misapplied, engaged columns and pilasters were frequently so connected with other side-pilasters which were recessed behind them to the number of one, two, or even three, that the cornices and, in fact, all horizontal mouldings were separately profiled over each column or pilaster [shown here].”


A. Rosengarten, W. Collett-Sandars A Handbook of Architectural Styles (New York, NY: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1895)


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