Feminine, Sculpture

Truth with Antonio Corradini

Antonio Corradini was a celebrated sculptor during the Baroque period, served as the court sculptor for Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, and was most famous for his sculptures of veiled figures. His sculpture “Veiled Truth”, completed in 1750, captures a woman’s beauty in intricate detail, giving her only the sheerest bit of modesty behind a veil.

Although the woman’s veil is nearly translucent over her breasts, stomach, and face, in the folds of the veil around her arms, the back of her head, and her hips, there is room for both mystery and the slightest hint of modesty. The veil is immovable, rendering perfect clarity unattainable. In the unattainable exists a longing to see all, longing to seize the veil, discard it, and see what is beneath. Her body draws in the eye, hiding very little of her alluring nature, but the veil still covers her, creating a tension between eroticism and restraint, or perhaps redefining eroticism itself. Even as the viewer studies and wonders about the woman, she gazes aside, as is to make the final decision to refuse to allow the viewer a full picture of who she really is.

This artwork also raises questions about the nature of truth, whether the truth is ever really clear or if it is always shrouded behind a veil. The woman could serve as a model for what Corradini believed truth was, an enticing mistress who is close but never completely exposed. As an individual, the woman could be a victim of her own fears, her vision obscured by her very modesty, searching for truth in the distance, but unable to cast off her own veil and and take a look at her own self. Corradini could not only be questioning the nature of truth in an abstract sense but also urging us to cast off our own inhibitions and fears to find out who we really are, our own truth.

What do you think of this sculpture?

Cappella Sansevero a Napoli | La Pudicizia (anche detta Pudicizia velata) di Antonio CORRADINI, è dedicata a Cecilia Gaetani dell'Aquila d'Aragona, madre di Raimondo di Sangro, che morì nel dicembre del 1710, meno di un anno dopo la nascita del figlio.

La scultura raffigura una donna completamente coperta da un velo semitrasparente, cinta in vita da una ghirlanda di rose, che ne lascia intravedere le forme ed in particolare i tratti del viso. Essa è considerata il capolavoro del Corradini (già autore in passato di altre figure velate), del quale è elogiata l'abilità nel modellare il velo che aderisce con naturalezza al corpo della donna.

La composizione è carica di significati: la lapide spezzata sulla quale la figura appoggia il braccio sinistro, lo sguardo come perso nel vuoto e l'albero della vita che nasce dal marmo ai piedi della statua simboleggiano la morte prematura della principessa Cecilia. Il tema della vita e della morte è ripreso dal bassorilievo del pilastro su cui poggia la statua, raffigurante l'episodio biblico conosciuto come Noli me tangere, nel quale Gesù risorto dice alla Maddalena di non cercare di trattenerlo nel mondo dei vivi.

Posted by L'arte di guardare l'Arte on Wednesday, August 31, 2016