Roaming Rome

Church of the Gesù - 1910s

Facade of the Church of the Gesu, Piazza del Gesu, with pedestrians and a carriage shown in the foreground

Façade of the Church of the Gesù, Piazza del Gesù, 1910s
Architect: Giacomo della Porta
Artist: Cecil Ross Pinsent
© RIBA Library Drawings and Archives Collections

Cecil Ross Pinsent has used paper with a faint grid to help him to measure the proportions of the façade of the Church of the Gesù in Rome, drawing what is in front of the church to capture how it sits within the city.

Pinsent's broad and fast pencil strokes show the space in a lively way. By including figures in the foreground, Pinsent sets a scale for the building. Through the figures, one understands the massive size of the façade, helping to capture the essence of the space at a certain moment. This sketch is typical of those done by architects on the Grand Tour - a fast study that helped the observer the better to understand the ancient city.


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