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The Jesuit Order

Inventors of festivals were equally ambitious for themselves as they were for the princes they served, for they recognized that their own status was closely allied to the lofty roles they created for their patrons.   From the mid sixteenth century into this arena came the Jesuits, who saw the enormous advantages for their order in getting close to princes by praising them in their works.   One of the most astonishing displays of their ingenuity and  inventive powers can be seen in the royal entry they organized into Avignon in 1623 to greet Louis XIII after his series of victories over the Protestants.   One might venture to say that their designs were preposterous in their complexity.  

In this arch (Illustration 11) the structures seem to have grown sideways. 

11. Press mark 605 c 22.   Louis XIII’s entry into Avignon, the Portal of Felicity – page 83 of 306.
Illustration 11

You can still see today the simple double-columned arch at the centre, but excresences have developed on either side adding new structures and numerous statues and pictures which make up the surviving Portal of Felicity.  

This festival structure was glued (Illustration 12) onto the façade of the Cathedral, an immense building decorated with saintly images surrounding and overwhelming the tiny arch placed at the beginning of a deep perspective leading into the church.

12. Press mark 605 c 22.   Louis XIII’s entry into Avignon, the disguised façade of Notre Dame des Doms – page 279 of 306.
Illustration 12

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