The Cappella Sansevero , located in Naples, Italy, is a 16th-century chapel that houses some of the most beautiful and extraordinary works of art created by 18th-century Italian artists. Some of the most prominent among them are a number of extraordinarily detailed sculptures that will make you wonder how talented sculptors managed to turn cold marble blocks into highly detailed and intricate sculpture works.
One of the most remarkable statues in the chapel is Release from Deception, or Il Disinganno , made by Genoa sculptor Francesco Queirolo . The statue depicts a man who escaped from a web of weaving. and the most amazing thing is that the weaving net is made of marble too, amazing!
The museum’s website describes the sculpture as a man who has been set free of sin. The small spirit next to the man symbolizes the human intellect, helping him free himself while pointing at the globe by his feet, symbolizing worldly possessions. “An open book rests on the globe; it is the Bible, a sacred text, but also one of the three “great lights” of Masonry. The bas-relief on the pedestal, with the story of Jesus restoring sight to the blind, accompanies and strengthens the meaning of the allegory.”
“In his book Istoria dello Studio di Napoli (1753-54), Giangiuseppe Origlia rightly defines this statue as ‘the last and most trying test to which sculpture in marble can aspire.’ The reference is naturally to the virtuoso work on the net, which amazed famous eighteenth- and nineteenth-century travelers, and continues to astound tourists today,” says the museum.
“In this regard, the story goes that – as had already happened to Queirolo years before, when he was working on another statue – the sculptor had to burnish the sculpture with pumice personally, as the craftsmen of the period, though specialized in the burnishing phase, refused to touch the delicate net in case it broke into pieces in their hands.”
The Cappella Sansevero has a total collection of 28 art pieces from various 18th-century Italian artists, including The Veiled Truth by Antonio Corradini and The Veiled Christ by Giuseppe Sanmartino.
Be sure to visit the Cappella Sansevero next time you’re in Naples and if you enjoy these sculpture!