Cristo Velato – The Veiled Christ sculpture is being exhibited in Naples

A 1753 marble sculpture by Giuseppe Sanmartino exhibited in the Cappella Sansevero. Veiled Christ is considered one of the world’s most remarkable sculptures, and legendarily thought to have been created by alchemy.

Veiled Christ’s production was originally assigned to the sculptor Antonio Corradini, who specialized in veiled statues. However, Corradini died a short time later. The job thus passed to Giuseppe Sanmartino.

Veiled Christ – Cristo Velato / Image source

Sanmartino produced a work with the dead Christ laid on a couch, covered by a veil which adheres perfectly to his form. The mastery of the Neapolitan sculptor lies in his successful depiction, looking through the veil, of the suffering that Christ had undergone during the crucifixion. Signs of Jesus’s pain can be seen on his face and body.

Shaping further detail into the marble block, at Jesus’s feet Sanmartino has carved depictions of the instruments of the passion: pliers, shackles, and the crown of thorns.

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