The realisation of the church of St. Louis of the French in Rome started in 1518 AC, on the desire of the Cardinal Giulio de'Medici who, only a few years later, would have reached the grade of Pontiff under the name of Clement VII.
After the stop of the works in 1524 AC, the yard of the basilica lived its period of maximum activity under the direction of Domenico Fontana during the decade going from 1580 to 1589 and which was concluded by the consecration of the edifice.
The façade of St. Louis of the French, which can probably be attributed to a project of Giacomo della Porta, is developed on two overlapping orders, culminating with a triangular tympanum, decorated horizontally with relief cornices and vertically with pilaster strips with Corinthian capitals.
The result is the individualization in the front prospect of five distinct sectors for each one of the two levels, the inferior ones being occupied at the centre by three entrance doors and laterally by statues placed in niches, the superior ones occupied by windows and a central balcony spaced out by other two sculptures realised, as well as the first ones, in 1758 by Pierre Lestache.
The internal part of the church has three naves with five chapels on each side finely decorated with the use of marbles and stucco; however, it is more the internal furnishing rather than the architectonic complex that surprise, because of the number but also because of the quality of the hosted works.
In the fifth chapel on the left of the basilica, for example, are located the "St. Matthew and the angel", the "Vocation of St. Matthew" and the "Martyr of St. Matthew" painted by Caravaggio between 1597 and 1602; to these one can add a large list of works of great fame:
In the vault:
- "Death and glory of San Luigi" frescoes of Charles-Joseph Natoire dating from 1756 AC.
- next to the first pilaster: monument to the French soldiers fallen in Rome in 1849 built by Pio IX
- 2nd chapel: "Story of the life of St. Cecilia" of Domenichino 1616 AC.
- 2nd chapel, on the altar copy of "St. Cecilia of Raffaello" nowadays in Bologna realised by Guido Reni
- 4th chapel painted vault by Pellegrino Tibaldi
- 4th chapel, altar, "Oath of Clodoveo" by Jacopino del Conte
- 4th chapel, altar, "Army of Clodoveo" by Pellegrino Tibaldi
- 4th chapel, altar, "Baptism of Clodoveo" by Sermoneta
- 4th chapel, monument of Pietro Guérin di Paolo Lemoyne
- "Assumption" Francesco Bassano
- next to the first pilaster: monument of the painter Claudio Gellée de Lorrain – Claudio Lorenese di Paolo Lemoyne
- 1st chapel, altar "St. Sebastian" by Girolamo Massei
- 1st chapel, right, monument of the Cardinal de Bernis di Francesco Massimiliano Laboureur
- 1st chapel, left, monument to Madame de Montmorin from 1805
- 3rd chapel, altar, "St. Louis IX" by Plautilla Bricci from 1664
- 3rd chapel, left "Scene of the life of St. Louis" by Giacinto Gimignani
- 5th chapel, vault of Cavalier d'Arpino
- 5th chapel, altar "St. Matthew and the angel" on the left "Vocation of St. Matthew" on the right "Martyr of St. Matthew" del Caravaggio painted between 1597 and 1602