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Italia Napoli Cappella Sansevero2


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The Cappella Sansevero (also known as the Capella Sansevero de' Sangri or Pietatella) is a chapel located in the historic center of Naples. The chapel contains works of art by some of the leading Italian artists of the 18th century.
Its origin dates to 1590 when John Francesco di Sangro, Duke of Torremaggiore, after recovering from a serious illness, had a private chapel built in what were then the gardens of the nearby Sansevero family residence, the Palazzo Sansevero. The building was converted into a family burial chapel by Alessandro di Sangro in 1613 (as inscribed on the marble plinth over the entrance to the chapel). Definitive form was given to the chapel by Raimondo di Sangro, Prince of Sansevero, who also included Masonic symbols in its reconstruction. Until 1888 a passageway connected the Sansevero palace with the chapel

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  • Thank you Oresta, Carmen, Virginia, John, THANK YOU so much!
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  • Capela ne prezinta cu mare arta opt descendenti ai familiei di Sangro, cu virtutile si gloriile lor militare, stiintifice, artistice, literare. Si parca toti graviteaza in jurul capodoperei mondiale, Hristosul Veil. E paralizanta energia acumulata de secole in capela. Mai mult despre sfarsitul lui Raimondo di Sangro ar fi interesant………se poate?
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Italia Napoli Cappella Sansevero2

  1. 1. Piazza San Domenico Piazzetta Nilo
  2. 2. The origins of the Sansevero Chapel are closely connected to a legendary incident. Cesare d’Engenio Caracciolo tells in his Sacred Naples of 1623 that, in around 1590, an innocent man who was being led to prison in chains passed before the garden of the di Sangro palace in Piazza San Domenico Maggiore, and saw a part of the garden wall collapse and an image of the Madonna appear. He promised the Virgin Mary to offer her a silver lamp and a dedication if only his innocence might be recognised. Once released, the man was faithful to his vow. The sacred image thus became a place of pilgrimage and prayer, and many other graces were received there. Shortly afterwards, the Duke of Torremaggiore, Giovan Francesco di Sangro, seriously ill, turned to the Madonna to plead for his recovery. Miraculously cured, he erected in thanksgiving a “small chapel” called Santa Maria della Pietà or Pietatella in the place where the venerable image had first appeared (still visible above the High Altar). However, it was the son of Giovan Francesco, Alessandro di Sangro, Patriarch of Alexandria, who, in the early years of the seventeenth century began the enormous task transforming and enlarging it, changing the original votive chapel into a true votive mausoleum to house the tombs of his ancestors and future family members
  3. 3. The current appearance of the Chapel corresponds to a very precise icono-graphic design, conceived by Prince Raimondo di Sangro and realised by the artists who worked under his supervision. From the main door, one enters the single nave, ending in an apse containing the High Altar. The two side walls have four rounded arches, each one containing a tomb, except the third arch to the left of the main entrance, where there is the side door, and the third arch on the right, that opens onto the Tomb of Raimondo di Sangro. The tombs in the side chapels are dedicated to the illustrious ancestors of the di Sangro family, while the sculptures set against the pillars separating the arches represent the virtues
  4. 4. Francesco Queirolo, the effigies of six cardinals originating from the Sangro family
  5. 5. The Monument to Alessandro di Sangro, situated in a niche to the left of the Altar, portrays the Patriarch of Alexandria and Archbishop of Benevento, son of the first Prince of Sansevero, Giovan Francesco di Sangro
  6. 6. Alessandro di Sangro
  7. 7. Alessandro was the one who – as the inscription over the main entrance of the Sansevero Chapel states – rebuilt from the foundations and extended the “small chapel” his father had built, and had the first mass celebrated there in 1608, establishing the site as the final resting place of himself and his descendents
  8. 8. Monument to Cecco di Sangro by Francesco Celebrano, 1766
  9. 9. Raimondo di Sangro wished to commemorate his illustrious ancestor, commander under the orders of Philip II, by immortalising his most famous exploit in battle. Cecco is portrayed in the act of emerging from a chest where he had been hiding for two days, a strategy which allowed him to take by surprise and rout the enemy, capturing the fort of Amiens. This episode, which happened during a campaign in Flanders, is described in detail in the commemorative inscription carved into the lion skin
  10. 10. On the two sides,  hippogryphs  symbolise  care and  surveillance, while the eagle with lightning rods in its talons symbolises  warlike virtues
  11. 11. The Monument to Cecco perhaps expresses better than any of the others the main reason Raimondo di Sangro built the Chapel: to celebrate his own household and the military glory of his male ancestors
  12. 12. This remarkable work in marble has many other interesting points. The warrior brandishing a sword, above the “great gate”, has been interpreted as the guardian of the Masonic Temple
  13. 13. Furthermore, this man leaping from the sarcophagus – one of the many references to immortality in the artwork of the Sansevero Chapel – was presumably the origin of one of the more famous legends concerning the Prince of Sansevero
  14. 14. According to the legend, as told by Benedetto Croce, as he approached the end, Raimondo di Sangro had himself cut to pieces and closed in a coffin, from which he was supposed to emerge “hale and hearty” at a specific time; but the family uncovered the coffin before the appointed time, and the “resurrection” of the reunited body lasted only a few moments
  15. 15. Giovan Francesco di Sangro, here portrayed in military dress, is the Duke of Torremaggiore (as well as first Prince of Sansevero) who – according to Cesare d’Engenio Caracciolo in his Sacred Naples (1623) – is said to have founded a small chapel in around 1590, the nucleus for what would become the Sansevero Chapel
  16. 16. The first Prince of Sansevero, who died in his eighties in 1604, was a brave soldier and took part in a large number of campaigns in Africa and Europe (he also fought as regimental commander in the famous battle of Lepanto in 1571)
  17. 17. The Monument to Giovan Francesco di Sangro was most probably the work of Giacomo Lazzari, even if a number of academics attribute it to Michelangelo Naccherino
  18. 18. The Monument to Paolo di Sangro, second Prince of Sansevero
  19. 19. The Prince is dressed as a Roman centurion, to recall the renown he earned during the Spanish campaign under Philip III, whose intimate advisor he was
  20. 20. Monument to Giovan Francesco di Sangro, third Prince of Sansevero
  21. 21. Monument to Giovan Francesco di Sangro, third Prince of Sansevero
  22. 22. The third Prince of Sansevero died at forty during an expedition to Africa in 1627
  23. 23. Monument to Paolo di Sangro, fourth Prince of Sansevero
  24. 24. The funerary statue dedicated to the fourth Prince of Sansevero, who died in 1636, is unanimously considered the most striking of the seventeenth-century works in the Chapel. The polychrome marble, inlayed in mother of pearl, is of particular note
  25. 25. Among the decorative motifs are two masks of an almost plant- like appearance, placed to the sides of the sarcophagus
  26. 26. Among the decorative motifs are two small busts of lions placed near a skull and an hourglass, clear symbols of transience
  27. 27. Monument to Giovan Francesco di Sangro, fifth Prince of Sansevero Francesco Celebrano (?), c. 1756
  28. 28. Monument to Giovan Francesco di Sangro, fifth Prince of Sansevero Francesco Celebrano (?), c. 1756
  29. 29. Monument to Paolo di Sangro, sixth Prince of Sansevero, grandfather of Raimondo, who died in 1726 at the age of sixty-seven years
  30. 30. Paolo di Sangro, sixth Prince of Sansevero
  31. 31. Raimondo was very close to his grandfather Paolo, who took care of him during his childhood, and upon his death left him heir to the title and the household at the age of only sixteen years
  32. 32. Unlike the other funerary monuments, the Tomb of Raimondo di Sangro appears sober, almost severe. Designed by Russo in 1759, when the seventh Prince of Sansevero was still alive, it comprises two essential elements: a complex of sculptured emblems set in a great arch, in seventeenth-century style, and a plaque with a long eulogy to di Sangro. Between these is the marble frame with the Portrait of the Prince
  33. 33. The symbols Raimondo di Sangro wanted for his tomb commemorate his earthly glory earned through his military success and scientific-literary output. A Breastplate and a helmet are surrounded by insignia, flags, pikes, halberds and other weapons. There are also books, parchments, set squares and a globe. From the far right of the arch hangs the sash of the Knights of the Order of San Gennaro, a decoration he received in 1740. The most interesting and original part of the monument is the great marble slab with its inscription. The funeral eulogy, in fact, is not engraved, but in relief, and shows no trace of chisel marks. This was achieved thanks to a procedure based on chemical solvents devised by the Prince himself
  34. 34. Placed over the “small door” of the temple, the Portrait of Vincenzo di Sangro was long mistakenly considered to be an image of Prince Raimondo. Sources and documents leave no doubt as to the fact that the painting, work of the Sorrentine Carlo Amalfi, actually depicts Raimondo’s eldest son, born in 1743. If it is known that the urn and decorative context of the portrait were made before 1766, it is less certain when the portrait itself was painted, and a number of critics hypothesise the mid- seventies
  35. 35. Stolen during the restoration work of 1990, the painting was recovered in the July of 1991 and returned to its place
  36. 36. Vincenzo di Sangro had a brilliant military career, becoming Commodore of the Royal Navy. Universal heir to the family wealth, he did not complete the work on the Chapel which was still not finished when Raimondo died, probably because of economic difficulties
  37. 37. Placed at the centre of the nave of the Sansevero Chapel, the  Veiled Christ is one of the most famous and impressive works of art in the world
  38. 38. Raimondo di Sangro appointed a young Neapolitan artist, Giuseppe Sanmartino, to make “a life-sized marble statue, representing Our Lord Jesus Christ dead, and covered in a transparent shroud carved from the same block as the statue”
  39. 39. The Veiled Christ, a world artistic masterpiece, was to have been – in the intention of the Prince – located in the Underground Chamber designed by di Sangro himself, in the Underground Chamber that was also to be have been used to house the future tombs of the Sansevero family, but which was never finished as the Prince envisaged it
  40. 40. Sound: Pergolesi - Stabat Mater in F Minor - Mov. 1-3 - Gemma Bertagnolli, soprano; Sara Mingardo, contralto Text & pictures: Internet All  copyrights  belong to their  respective owners Presentation: Sanda Foişoreanu 2018