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sorrento4you Cappella Sansevero

The Cappella Sansevero, now a somewhat bizarre museum, was built in 1590 as the private chapel of the Sansevero family and later became its burial chapel. In the 18th century it was elaborately embellished in Baroque style by the eccentric mystic Raimondo di Sangro, Prince of Sansevero. Of the sculptures that he commissioned, the most outstanding artistic features are in the ethereal Veiled Christ by Sammartino (1753) and two others that show the figures draped in what appears to be a translucent tissue of marble. Another, also carved from a single block of marble, shows a male figure partially wrapped in a net, free falling in places and so intricately carved that it seems impossible that it's really made of stone.

The chapel's most unusual exhibits are the pair of Anatomical Machines, demonstrating the human circulatory system and muscles, built on actual skeletons using wire, silk, and beeswax. Needless to say, the Prince's strange collection, added to all the Masonic symbols he incorporated into the chapel, gave rise to dark rumors about him and the scientific experiments he carried out in his adjoining palace.

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