permitted such an effect, particularly when painted with a trompe l'œil. In Rome, the dome of Sant' Andrea della Valle (1625-27) initiated a long run of fresco painting, which with the aid of academic studies on perspective, exploited a surface's continuous curve in order to produce the illusory effect of ascent to heaven. In France, the most significant such example is found in the dome of the Val-de-Grâce, painted by Pierre Mignard (1663-66). Similar effects in long spatial areas such as naves are more difficult to achieve, because the painter must reconcile his plan of an illusory ascent with the oblique viewpoint of a person entering the church. Pietro da Cortona (in Santa Maria in Vallicella, 1647-51) and Giovanni Battista Gaulli, known as Baciccio (in the Gesii, 167279), produced the first masterpieces conveying this type of effect. The trompe l'œil enabled the creation of an imaginary space at the centre of a constructed space, which gave the believer the sense that the boundary between heaven and earth had been removed. In the eighteenth century, Rococo architecture and decoration followed a similar path in Alpine and central Europe, as well as on the Iberian peninsula and in Latin America.
The expansion of internal space through architecture and painting was accompanied by subtle and complex research into the use of light. The aim was to create an emotional effect on the spectator by dissimulating the position of the light source, and so to accentuate the effects of mystery and unreality. This is what Bernini aimed to produce with his Saint Theresa in Ecstasy (1647-52) in the Cornaro Chapel of Santa Maria della Vittorio. An angel transports the saint towards the divine light on a cloud, the unattainable nature of the divine being suggested by atmospherical light reflected onto golden rays through an invisible oculus. Guarino Guarini made a speciality of creating direct or indirect light which would confer qualities of transcendence and infinitude onto an interior space. His greatest masterpiece of mathematical science was the Sindona in Turin, where he covered the dome with a superposition of octagonal structures, conceived in such a way that openings allowing light into the building remained invisible to the viewer. A light of mysterious origin, filtering through the black marble interior, seemed tinged with darkness, producing an obscure or black light - a tenebrosa luc. The believer who came to the Sindona to worship Christ's shroud, one of the most famous relics in Christendom, was thus led to understand that he found himself at the very core of a picture of Christ's tomb on Resurrection Day. Another fine example of this type of lighting pathos may be seen in Prague at Saint-Nicholas de Mala Strana (by Dienzenhofer) where the dome, designed as a lantern, produced a luminosity that changed in relation to the outside light. So too Hardouin-Mansart was able to create surprising effects through the use of light in the
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