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Sansevero Chapel – Cristo Velato

Sansevero Chapel – Cristo Velato

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The Sansevero Chapel is certainly one of the most famous and important Neapolitan museums. The church, now deconsecrated, is adjacent to the family palace of the princes of Sansevero, which accessed it privately via a suspension bridge that no longer exists. Together we will admire the modesty of Antonio Corradini, the Disillusion of Francesco Queirolo and one of the most famous and evocative masterpieces in the world, the veiled Christ by Giuseppe Sanmartino. On the face and body of Jesus we will see the signs of the tortures that were inflicted on him: the wound in his side, the feet and hands pierced by the nails and the features felt by suffering. A work so beautiful and fascinating that Antonio Canova declared that, in order to appropriate it, he would have given up even ten years of his life. Located right in the center of the Chapel, the sculpture is very famous for the mystery linked to the marble veil that almost rests on the Christ in such a realistic way as to give birth to the legend that it was actually a real fabric, transformed into marble thanks to a special liquid invented by the sinister and illustrious Prince of Sansevero. The particularity of the Chapel, a real jewel, lies in fact in the contrast between being conceived as a place of worship and then having become a real Masonic temple laden with symbolism that reflects the genius and charisma of Raimondo di Sangro, the seventh prince of Sansevero, who commissioned and at the same time invented the eighteenth-century artistic apparatus and the numerous unusual works of fine workmanship that are kept there. What made the Prince more famous and contributed more to his sinister fame is in a room attached to the Chapel, which can be accessed by descending a staircase before leaving the complex. They are the famous Anatomical Machines, two human skeletons, one male and one female, covered with the entire venous and arterial network reproduced with details that are too precise for the anatomical knowledge of the time.

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