The Holy Name. Art of the Gesu: Bernini and His Age

Fairfield University Museum of Art Exhibition Tour

Sunday, 15 April 2018

The Church of the Gesu in Rome is the mother church of The Society of Jesus, the Roman Catholic religious order founded by St. Ignatius Loyola and given approbation by Pope Paul III in 1540.  The architectural design and adornment of this church is significant in the history of both the Church and Western Art for its embodiment of the spirit of the early Counter-Reformation and the artistic sensibilities informing the dawn of the Baroque era.  This splendid church is nothing less than a crucible of the art, ideas, spirituality, and faith of that dynamic and tumultuous period.

The exhibition, though modest in size, is magisterial in scope and breath taking in quality, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, vestments, and liturgical objects from the church.  Among all the objects on display, perhaps the most significant is the marble portrait bust of Cardinal Robert Bellarmine by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, one of the greatest sculptors of all time.  Never before having left its lofty niche in the sanctuary of The Gesu,  this luminous sculpture will be able to be seen and examined up close so that its artistic alchemy of power and delicacy may be fully appreciated — surely reason enough to visit this singular exhibition.

Linda Wolk-Simon, Ph.D., the Frank and Clara Meditz Director and Chief Curator of The Fairfield University Museum of Art, is the curator of the exhibition.  She lead the tour of the exhibition on Sunday, 15 April 2018 for The Patrons.

Screen Shot 2018-12-19 at 4.36.30 PM

Photo Credit:

Gian Lorenzo Bernini (Italian, 1598-1680)

Bust of Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, 1623-24


30.75 in. x 27.5 in. x 19.75 in.

The Church of The Gesu, Rome

Photo: Zeno Colantoni


The Life of a Swiss Guard, A Private View

Invitation to "The Life of a Swiss Guard" Exhibit

The New York Chapter of the

Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums

cordially invites you to the Photographic Exhibition

The Life of a Swiss Guard, A Private View

Exhibition Dates October 5th – 20th

 Dr. Romina Cometti

Curator of the exhibit & Restoration Projects Manager of the Vatican Museums


For more information, E-mail to:   or  Tel: +1.929.290.0030

The Sheen Center

18 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012


Swiss Guard Oct 5 2017 group photo.JPG


An Evening With Raphael

Faith, Reason, and the Politics of Beauty in The Stanza della Segnatura

A Lecture by Professor Elizabeth Lev, Dott. Ric.

The Unseen Raphael

A Lecture by Professor Eric Hansen, Ph.D.

The United Nations Grand Conference Hall

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (1483 – 1520), known as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance.  He was a giant in a time of artistic giants; together with Michelangelo (1475 – 1564) and Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519), he forms the “Trinity of Great Masters” of that period.

Giorgio Vasari, the great biographer, describes Raphael’s life as falling into three phases and three styles: his formative years in Umbria tutored by Perugino; four years (1504-1508) in Florence where he was deeply influenced by Leonardo who lived in that great city from 1500 to 1506; his last twelve years spent in Rome where he achieved his lauded artistic maturity.   Raphael’s mature style depicts the human figure in an idealized state of Neo-platonic grandeur and equanimity within the context of compositional clarity and formal grace, elements that give the overall work its much-admired serene and harmonious character.

It was while in Rome and working for two popes (Julius II and Leo X) that Raphael, and workshop, executed in fresco the largest and central works of his career in the Vatican Palace’s “Raphael Rooms,” including The School of Athens, The Parnasus, and The Disputa in the Stanza della Segnatura, The Mass at Bolsena and Deliverance of St. Peter in the Stanza de Eliodoro, and the three defining episodes in the life of the Emperor Constantine in The Constantine Room.

Professor Elizabeth Lev’s lecture will focus on the complex context of theological doctrines, papal politics, scientific ideas, and artistic sensibilities informing the commission, designs, and execution of the paintings in the Stanza della Segnatura.

Professor Lev is a highly regarded art historian who has authored scholarly articles, books, and scripts for documentaries about The Vatican Museums.  Her forthcoming book, How Catholic Art Saved the Faith, is eagerly awaited.

Professor Eric Hansen’s lecture will focus on another room in the Vatican Palace designed and painted by Raphael.  The Loggie is a long, thin gallery that was once open to a courtyard on one side and decorated with Roman-style grotesques.  Though less well known than the “Stanze,” Professor Hansen argues for the importance of place of the Loggie in the Vatican Palace and its significance in the oeuvre of Raphael.

In addition to lecturing at various Catholic educational institutions, Professor Hansen has authored seven books on religious and cultural history; his forthcoming volume will detail the history and design of Catholic cathedrals in the United States.

Photo Credit

Raphael (1483-1520)

Stanza della Segnatura

The Vatican Palace

Photo:  The Vatican Museums

Menorah Exhibition – Rome: May 2017


Gallery: Constantine Room

Gallery: Bernini Angels


Video: An Evening with Raphael

10 May 2017 – Featuring presentations by experts and professors Elizabeth Lev and Eric Hansen, Side Event organized by the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations.

Bernini His Life & His Rome

On Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at 6pm, The New York Chapter was invited to hear renowned author and Boston College professor, Franco Mormando, Ph.D. speak at The Salmagundi Club in the Main Gallery. The club is located at  47 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10003. Dr. Mormando’s presentation will be based on his recent book, Bernini: His Life and His Rome.

The Life of A Swiss Guard- October 18th, 2016

On Tuesday, October 18, 2016 The Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums in conjunction with The Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations and Solares Federazione delle Arti hosted an evening at The United Nations Headquarters ECOSOC Hall.

The New York Patrons, the International Patrons, and esteemed guests gathered in the ECOSOC Hall to see the New York City premiere of The World’s Smallest Army directed by Gianfranco Pannone. The film transports viewers inside the Vatican and into the lives of the men serving in the Pontifical Swiss Guard-the famously clad army founded in 1506 to protect the Pope. The film documents a year in the life of two new recruits as they took up service together in the eternal city. Pannone’s documentary illuminates how the modern day Pontifical Swiss Guard bridges 500 year-old traditions with contemporary culture, specifically serving a Pope who regularly interacts with the people and seeks to bring the Christian faith to the modern world.

In addition to the film, lining the walls of the ECOSOC Hall were six photographs donated by the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums- New York Chapter for the evening. The images previewed the photographic exhibition Life of A Swiss Guard-A Private View a contemporary exhibition curated by Romina Cometti, The Patrons Office at The Vatican Museums. The full exhibition was recently displayed at The Vatican Museums in March, and will travel the United States in its entirety beginning in California on November 27, 2016.

The evening ended with a short panel discussion and audience Q & A. The discussion was led by  Former Captain of the Pontifical Swiss Guard, Frowin Bachmann, Director of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums,Fr. Daniel Hennessy, Director of The World’s Smallest Army, Gianfranco Pannone, and Director of The Permeant Observer Mission of the Holy See, Fr. Landry.





Caravaggio: Man & Mystery

On Tuesday, October 4, 2016, The Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums- New York Chapter had the distinct pleasure of hearing Charles Scribner III, Ph.D. speak on Caravaggio. The lecture was located in The Metropolitan Club’s Library – a beautiful setting for a lecture that filled the entire room.

 As The New York Chapter learned from the lecture, Caravaggio was a figure of great controversy and a pioneer of the Baroque, but Caravaggio was also a wanted man nearing the end of his life. Caravaggio was forced to flee Rome by 1606, leaving behind a collection of highly criticized yet equally admired artwork. His naturally rendered figures and consistent use of tenebrism developed a new perception of the well-known biblical scenes characteristic of the Renaissance. In his lecture, Dr. Scribner highlighted many of Caravaggio’s notable works including: The Entombment of Christ (1603), The Calling of St. Matthew (1599-1600), and The Conversion of St. Paul on His Way to Damascus (1601).