Results 1-3of 3 Reviews
September 24, 2004
Getting to the chapel is part of the fun; you walk through the streets of Naples where people live, where you see grocers with their produce out on the street, kids going by on scooters and skateboards, women hanging wash from 10th floor clotheslines, which run from building to building over the street.
There is public art and statuary around the neighborhood, and several interesting other churches nearby including the Duomo.
Capelle Sansevero can be a tad difficult to find. We found Rick Steve's map and directions the easiest way to use, walking from the main train station. There are a couple closer stops, but we wanted to walk through the area, where my grandfather spent the first 16 years of his childhood.
Once inside the Chapel you are presented with an amazing baroque chapel. You are immediately drawn to the center of the room where you'll find the highlight, the statue of the Veiled Christ. This is Christ off the Cross, covered with a translucent, or possibly wet sheet, rendered in marble. The skill of this sculpture is amazing, the veil is so lifelike on the body, at places conforming to it so we see the body clearly underneath in some places, while in others the line of the body is blurred a bit by the light sheet over him. Walk around this sculpture slowly a couple of times and see how it changes, especially the face of Christ, as you walk. From some angles you will see pain, from others, peace.
After checking out the Christ, look at the other sculptures. These were done by a different artist, but they reflect a similar level of skill. Despair, who struggles with a net carved in great detail from marble, is a highlight almost as amazing as the Veiled Christ, but the others are as well rendered, if not as unusual.
Finally, as you leave, look up on the ceiling. This incredibly hopeful fresco, centering on the Holy Spirit, provides a hopeful balance to a chapel that is really about the death of Christ.
Before heading out on the street, make sure to go downstairs. You'll exit a door on the right side of the chapel (from the entrance) and pass over a floor which is tiled with a slight optical illusion. It looks like Escher built it. Down at the bottom of the stairs there are some strange mummies who have had their circulatory systems preserved. And their eyes. It is a tad wierd.
Alas you cannot take photographs here, so I have none. You can buy a book, which I did, of the chapel as a memento.
From journal Weekend in Napoli
New York, New York
May 24, 2003
Check out their website at www.ic-napoli.com/sansevero
From journal I Left My Heart In Naples
October 30, 2000
From journal The Gold of Naples