Cappella Sansevero

Cappella Sansevero

The Cappella Sansevero (also known as the "Capella Sansevero de' Sangri" or "Pietatella") is a chapel north of the church of San Domenico Maggiore, in the historic center of Naples, Italy. The chapel is more properly named the Chapel of "Santa Maria della Pietà", or the "Pietatella". Its origin dates to 1590 when the Sansevero family had a private chapel built in what were then the gardens of the nearby family residence, the Palazzo Sansevero. Definitive form was given to the chapel by Raimondo di Sangro, Prince of Sansevero.

Works of art

The chapel houses three idiosyncratic sculptures. These statues are emblematic of the excesses of artifice in late-Baroque. The "Veiled Truth" (also called "Modesty" or "Chastity") was completed by Antonio Corradini in 1750 as a tomb monument dedicated to Cecilia Gaetani dell'Aquila d'Aragona, mother of Raimondo. A "Christ Veiled under a Shroud" (also called "Veiled Christ"), shows the influence of the veiled "Modesty", and was completed in 1753 by Giuseppe Sanmartino (1720-1793). The "Release from Deception" by Francesco Queirolo of Genoa serves as a monument to Raimondo's father.

Anatomical exhibit

The chapel also displays two early examples of a form of plastination in its basement. These "human machines" ("macchine anatomiche") are examples of the process of "human metallization" ("metallizzazione umana") as implemented by anatomist Giuseppe Salerno ca. 1760 from a commission by Raimondo di Sangro. The exhibit consists of a mature male and a pregnant woman. Their skeletons are encased in the hardened arteries and veins which are colored red and blue respectively. Historians have surmised that the corpses could have been created by injecting the hardening substances directly into the veins of living subjects. [cite web|url=|title=The anatomical machines of the Prince of Sansevero|coauthors=Renata Peters and Lucia Dacome|date=last modified August 23, 2007|publisher=University College London (UCL)|accessdate=2008-08-05]


External links

* [ Sansevero Chapel Website] it icon
* [ Video of the Sansevero Chapel] it icon

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