- Type: Religious Sights
NileGuide Expert Says:
Giuseppe Sanmartino's beautiful "Veiled Christ" sculpture is one of the top reasons to visit this little chapel.
In the 18th century, Prince Raimondo di Sangro of Sansevero remodeled this funerary chapel -- built in the 16th century for his family -- and lavishly decorated it with sculptures. Among those are some particularly renowned works, starting with Giuseppe Sanmartino's Cristo Velato (Veiled Christ), created by the Neapolitan sculptor in 1753, and still with the original patina. The challenge of depicting veiled figures in stone seems to have obsessed the prince: Other sculptures here are the Disinganno, a technical virtuoso by Queirolo showing a standing figure of a man disentangling himself from a net; and Pudicizia, a masterpiece by Corradini showing a veiled naked woman. The prince -- a student of science, an inventor, and an alchemist -- achieved fame as a master of the occult, and the decoration of the chapel has contributed to this reputation. The most striking (and weird) objects here are two actual human bodies conserved in the crypt, whose circulatory systems are perfectly preserved after 2 centuries. The chapel is also used for art exhibits and concerts -- call for schedules.
- © Frommer's 2013
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