Veiled truth, sculpture and secrets

“Veiled truth” is one of the masterpieces of Venetian sculptor Antonio Corradini (1688-1752), which he created for Naple’s Cappella Sansevero (formally known as Chapel of Santa Maria della Pietà, and nicknamed by the locals  “Pietatella”).

The iconography of the chapel, located near Piazza San Domenico Maggiore, stemmed from the exoteric fancy of Raimondo di Sangro (1710-1771), an alchemist, freemason and intellectual of the Age of Enlightenment.

The nobleman’s plan was to renovate a church from the early 17th century into his family’s burial chapel, to celebrate the valor, virtue, and aristocratic standing of his stock. Moreover, he used the sacred building to convey his secret message, sparking a wide range of interpretations.

The three most important works that Di Sangro had made for his chapel are the “Veiled Christ” by Giuseppe Sanmartino, the  “Release from deception” by Francesco Queirolo, and the abovementioned “Veiled truth” by Corradini.

The statue is an allegory of Knowledge, dedicated to Di Sangro’s mother Cecilia Gaetani dell’Aquila d’Aragona, who had died before his first year of age.

The “veil” covering the statue’s lithe body was sculpted with extraordinary skill.

It hides the pain of an orphan child, as well as many other secrets of his that we may never discover.

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Veiled truth, sculpture and secrets

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