The sculpture, made in 1753, is considered one of the world's masterpieces. Antonio Canova who once tried to acquire the work declared that he would willingly give up ten years of his own life to produce a similar masterpiece.
History and description[change | change source]
Sanmartino took over the work. He decided to place the Christ figure on a couch, covered by a veil. It was to show the suffering that Christ has undergone.
Legend of the veil[change | change source]
An analysis shows that the work is completely made in marble. A receipt of payment to Sanmartino dated 16 December 1752, signed by the prince, is preserved in the historical archive of the Bank of Naples. It states:
Italian: E per me gli suddetti ducati cinquanta gli pagarete al Magnifico Giuseppe Sanmartino in conto della statua di Nostro Signore morto coperta da un velo ancor di marmo. English: And you will pay the aforementioned fifty ducats to the Magnificent Giuseppe Sanmartino on my behalf, for the statue of Our Lord in death covered by a veil also of marble.
References[change | change source]
- Elio Catello, Giuseppe Sanmartino (1720-1793), Napoli, Electa, 2004.