Skip to main content
The Veiled Christ in Naples

The Veiled Christ in Naples: history and curiosity

The Veiled Christ of Naples is one of the most renowned sculptures in the world. The statue, which depicts Jesus shrouded in a long veil, was created by the Neapolitan sculptor Giuseppe Sanmartino in 1753. Since then, it has become a symbol of faith, devotion, and hope to many who visit the church of Sansevero Chapel Museum in Naples, Italy.

The history of the Veiled Christ begins with the noble family of Sansevero, and their patronage of the arts from the 16th century to the present day. The first patron was Raimondo di Sangro, Prince of Sansevero, who commissioned many works in his lifetime, including the Veiled Christ. The statue was made with marble dust and glue and took two years to complete. Nevertheless, its sheer beauty and grace are unrivaled by any other work of art.

Legend says that after Raimondo’s death, a mysterious figure appeared at Sansevero Chapel and placed a veil over the sculpture. Since then, it has been known as the Veiled Christ or Cristo Velato. This story is said to have inspired both religious believers and non-believers alike, who have made pilgrimages to Naples to see this extraordinary piece of art.

The Veiled Christ is open daily from 9am-7pm with extended hours during summer months (May-September). There is no admission fee, but donations are welcomed to help maintain these historical monuments. 

Visitors should also be aware that there is a strict dress code when visiting this sacred place – shorts and sleeveless shirts are not allowed inside the chapel. Additionally, visitors should be respectful and maintain a calm voice out of respect for those praying or meditating in front of the statue. 

Apart from its artistic beauty, some interesting facts about this sculpture fascinate visitors worldwide – such as its incredible weight (almost three tons) or its great detail (made without using any tools). 

The Veiled Christ continues to draw visitors from around the world looking for a spiritual experience or simply admiring its beauty; it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re ever in Naples!

Who carved the Veiled Christ?

The Veiled Christ is a marble sculpture created by the Italian artist Giuseppe Sanmartino in 1753. It is a life-size statue of Jesus Christ in his burial shroud. The figure is said to be so realistic that it appears like the veil is draped over an actual body.

The work was commissioned by the Spanish Viceroy of Naples, Fernando Ruiz de Castro, for the chapel of Sansevero in Naples. It has become one of the most renowned sculptures from the Neapolitan Baroque period. It remains on display in the chapel today. 

Giuseppe Sanmartino was born into a family of stonemasons and sculptors in 1720. He trained under some of the most influential sculptors in Italy, such as Francesco Solimena and Ferdinando Fuga. In addition to creating other sculptures, he also worked on restoration projects throughout his lifetime. 

Sanmartino’s Veiled Christ is widely considered to be his masterpiece. He used a single block of Carrara marble to create this lifelike figure covered with a seamless veil that gives the impression that it was draped over an actual body. The sculpture was completed after three years of hard work and is still considered one of the most masterful examples of marble sculpture from the eighteenth century. 

The Veiled Christ has been praised for its realism and attention to detail. It is believed that Sanmartino used a live model for reference during the creation process, which may explain why this piece appears so lifelike even today. 

Many art historians have studied Sanmartino’s work. They have praised his ability to capture emotion and realism through his sculptures. His Veiled Christ continues to captivate viewers worldwide, making it one of his most iconic works and an example of Neapolitan Baroque art at its finest.

What is the Veiled Christ made of?

The Veiled Christ is a marble sculpture created by Italian sculptor Giuseppe Sanmartino in 1753. It is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful and perfect sculptures. The piece is made of a single block of Carrara marble quarried in Tuscany, Italy.

The figure of Christ is shrouded in a white veil that covers his entire body except for his face. His facial features are highly expressive and convey an intense emotion of suffering. The blanket has been carefully draped to create an impression of movement and grace characteristic of the Rococo period in which it was made.

The sculpture stands almost five feet tall and weighs approximately 1,700 pounds. Its body is slightly curved, with the arms outstretched and the head tilted somewhat towards heaven. The drapery adds to the sense of movement and grace by creating a sweeping curve around the figure’s body and cascading down to its feet.

The Veiled Christ is a masterpiece not only for its technical virtuosity but also for its emotional power. Its beauty lies in its subtlety and delicate play between light and shadow on the marble surface. Sanmartino’s skillful use of light, shade, and texture creates an illusion of depth and gives life to what would otherwise be merely a block of stone.

Leave a Reply