The Reformed Carmelites of Monte Santo, from Messina, obtained papal approval to establish a convent in Rome in 1640. In 1662 Cardinal Girolamo Gastaldi
laid the foundation stone for their new church. The first architect was Carlo Rainaldi
. Work stopped for four years, but work resumed in 1671 under Carlo Fontana
, revised by Gian Lorenzo Bernini
. The church was completed in 1673 in time for the Jubilee of 1675.
This area became the center of an artists' quarter in the 18th century. In 1953 the art critic Monsignor Ennio Francia began the celebration of a "Mass of the Artists" in this church every Sunday. This tradition has continued ever since, and so the church has become the Chiesa degli Artisti. The funerals of personalities from the world of art, theatre and culture are often held here.