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The intention of commemorating Cecilia Gaetani is not the only meaning of this statue. The veiled woman can be interpreted as an allegory of Wisdom, and the reference to the veiled Isis, special divinity of the science of initiation, appears extremely clear (without considering that a long tradition, in reality unsubstantiated, holds that Modesty is situated in the place where once a statue of Isis stood in the Greek Neapolis). The art historians Joseph Rickwert and Rosanna Cioffi have also shown that the Veiled Truth engraved in the centre of the title page of the Encyclopédie is very similar to Corradini’s Modesty, and the sculptor’s association with Freemasonry is documented. The oak that bursts out of the naked stone, lastly, is held by some to be an allusion to the arbor philosophica.
These statues are certainly the focal point of the Prince of Sansevero’s original iconographic design. In fact, they represent different Virtues, stages on a pathway to initiation leading to interior knowledge and perfection.
Behind the figure is sculpted in marble – as defined in the Short note, an eighteenth-century guide to the Palace and the Sansevero Chapel – a “kind of pyramid”. It is, to be more precise, one of the four faces of a pyramid with its pyramidion, symbolically completed by the other three faces placed behind the Sweetness of the Marital Yoke, Sincerity and Education. The pyramid is a decorative element frequently used in Western funeral iconography, and according to Ripa’s Iconologia, it is suited to the representation of the “glory of the Princes”.
However, Raimondo di Sangro’s culture, the references he makes in the Lettera Apologetica to Hermes Trismegistus and the works of Athanasius Kircher (famous seventeenth-century Egyptologist) and, lastly, the many elements alluding to the initiatic tradition throughout the Sansevero Chapel lead to the supposition that the presence of the pyramid is a symbolic reference to ancientEgyptian Wisdom and the prisca theologia.
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 (the present appearance of the Chamber is the result of work completed after his death). The Christ by Giuseppe Sanmartino was to have been illuminated by the flame of a perpetual lamp, invented by the Prince of Sansevero; it too evocative of esoteric symbolism.
Above all, the centre of the underground temple would have housed Sanmartino’s Veiled Christ, lit by two eternal lamps designed by the Prince and placed at the feet and head of the statue. It is not known with absolute certainty whether the Christ was ever placed there, but it is highly improbable. A slab of marble placed at the centre of the Chamber shows the intention of di Sangro to place the Neapolitan sculptor’s masterpiece here.
This cave tomb (the Prince described it as “une éspèce de caveau”), illuminated by a perpetual flame and enriched by the beauty of the Veiled Christ, was meant to have, within the overall design of the Chapel, a symbolic role which was far from secondary for its designer.
originally posted by: kibric
a reply to: LightSpeedDriver
so f#cking sick
of everyone dumping on Masons , Rosicrucian's
all the worlds evil blah blah blah
just parrot what others say and think
how many illegal activities have you personally witnessed Masons do ?
you think everyone who works at the Red cross is a saint
or everyone at your local country club is an evil villain
the anti masonic sentiment displayed on this site
puts me off coming here
yes its a f#cking rant...