The Church of San Luis de los Franceses, in Seville, is a great example of Baroque architecture in the 18th century. It was designed by Leonardo Figueroa and built between 1699 and 1730.
It’s built over the one that was the Enríquez de Ribera family’s house. This piece of land was given by Lucía de Medina in exchange for calling the church San Luis (in honor of Saint Luis IX, king of France), and burying her in its Major Chapel. The church was considered as a monument in 1946.
This church presents a rectangular, Greek Cross plan covered by a huge chapel over a tambour. There is a semicircular space placed at the end of each of the four ends of the cross (the frontal one was used to build the Major Chapel). In the interior there are Solomonic columns between which there are alcoves, chapels and tribunes, with a wide and decorated baseboard. In the bases of the columns, we can see the Great Virtues: chastity, obedience, poverty, humility and prayer.
The facade is divided into two sections, and it’s decorated as an altarpiece facade: stone and brick alternate as building materials. It’s asided by two octagonal towers. The second section has five windows, and the central one is between two Solomonic columns. Above the windows is the Spanish badge, crowned by culptures of the three archangelsThe carvings on the bricks may be Leonardo Figueroa’s main artistic characteristic. We can know that it’s a baroque architecture work because of its exhuberance and its exaggerated art if we compare it with Renaissance and New Classicism. There’s a predominance of movement, realism in the representations and use of symbols (the main one might be the representation of the Great Virtues on the columns).
Leonardo de Figueroa was born in Utiel (Valencia) in 1654. He was Matías José and Ambrosio de Figueroa’s father, and Antonio de Figueroa’s grandfather. Apart from designing the Church of San Luis de los Franceses, he participated in other important projects, such as the Hospital of the Venerable Priests, in Seville, which was built in 1675, and which is, nowadays, Historic Patrimony of Spain.