Sansevero Chapel Museum and Veiled Christ

In via Francesco de Sanctis, in the heart of the historic center of Naples, it is possible to admire a real “jewel” of baroque architecture: the Sansevero Chapel Museum.

The Sansevero Chapel Museum, today a deconsecrated church, is full of marvelous masterpieces including: the Pudicizia, the Disinganno, the Anatomical Machines but, above all, the veiled Christ made in 1753 by Giuseppe Sanmartino

The marble sculpture of the veiled Christ is a unique work of its kind, capable of spreading emotion in the eyes and soul of the viewer, managing to convey the sense of drama and a huge emotion. The sculptor succeeded, working on a single block of marble, to give life to a life-size statue that represents the lifeless body of Jesus Christ lying on a bed and covered with an extraordinary transparent veil in marble. It is above all the details of the marble sculpture that strike the observer: the swollen vein and still throbbing on the forehead, the marks of the nails on the feet and hands, the hollow cost. Furthermore, at the foot of the sculpture, we find the tools of the torture: the crown of thorns, a pincer and the nails. This exceptional work of art is one of the most famous and evocative in the world and is able to excite art lovers and simple spectators.

After admiring the Veiled Christ and all the works belonging to the Sansevero Chapel there is the possibility of being able to look at the Anatomical Machines: two stripped bodies, one of a man and the other of a woman, where it is possible to observe everything in detail the circulatory system. The two bodies, placed inside two bulletin boards in the underground Cavea of ​​the Chapel, were created by the doctor Giuseppe Salerno on commission from the Prince of Sansevero. Even today, one wonders how this exceptional conservation of the circulatory system could have been achieved. In fact, many legends are nourished around Anatomical Machines, including the one that speaks of an injection made in the blood vessels of two bodies, causing their “metallization”. In reality, the circulatory system is the result of a reconstruction carried out with different materials, including beeswax and some dyes. Many years later, however, we are still surprised when we look at this reproduction of the arteriovenous system down to the thinnest vessels; this demonstrates incredibly advanced anatomical knowledge for the time.

Thanks to all these works kept inside, the Sansevero Chapel Museum is a unique monument of its kind, in which beauty and mystery are combined to create a unique and timeless atmosphere.

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