Veiled Christ, Sanmartino

Veiled Christ, Sanmartino
Veiled Christ, Sanmartino
Anonim

Halfway between a museum, a funerary chapel and a Masonic temple, the Sansevero Chapel in Naples houses some of the most interesting sculptural productions in all of Naples. Its iconographic program is intended to highlight and honor the virtues of some of the most notable members of the Sangro family to whom the site is dedicated. Inside, an outstanding set of sculptures amazes the viewer, however, one work stands out above the others, it is the Veiled Christ made by the Neapolitan artist Giuseppe Sanmartino.

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Sanmartino (1720- 1793) has gone down in the history of sculpture as one of the best sculptors of the Settecento precisely because of the skill he demonstrated in the execution of this piece. However, the reality is that the original work was not entrusted to Sanmartino, but rather, Raimondo di Sangro commissioned the piece at first to the sculptor Antonio Corradini, however Corradini died when he had just delivered a small terracotta sketch. The commission then roasted Sanmartino.

The artist made the piece from a single block of marble; It is a free-standing life-size sculpture that is about 180 centimeters long. The artist places the lifeless body of Jesus Christ on a rectangular mattress with two cushions, at his feet rest some of his last belongings: the crown of thorns, the tweezers and the nails, a set known aslike Arma Christi. The languid body rests face up while the head tilts to one side.

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The set is covered by a very fine veil that has raised more than one conjecture, since, without a doubt, it is the most relevant aspect of the piece. Through the veil you can perfectly appreciate the rest of the piece, the aftermath of the ordeal. For a long time there was a legend that such an exceptional piece could not be made in marble and that the truth is that Prince Raimondo di Sangro himself - known for his facet as a scientist and alchemist - had taught the sculptor how to transform cloth into stone through a calcification process. Today and after the studies carried out, we know that it is a single block of marble that the artist worked with great virtuosity.

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