Leonardo
Volume 46, Issue 1
February 2013

112 pages
ISSN 0024-094X
E-ISSN 1530-9282

ArtScience: The Essential Connection

The Veiled Christ of Cappella Sansevero: On Art, Vision and Reality

pp.
19
23
Article PDF (2.18 MB)
Abstract

A celebrated marble sculpture of the body of Jesus, known as Cristo Velato (Veiled Christ), by the 18th-century Neapolitan artist Giuseppe Sanmartino offers a dramatic demonstration of art as all-encompassing illusion. As such, Sanmartino's masterpiece provides a rare opportunity to deconstruct a multifaceted and richly deceptive perceptual experience into a collection of simple sensory elements. This analysis both yields insights into the visual tools of the artist and reveals how an empirical understanding of sensory processes can illuminate complex perceptual experiences.

Thomas D. Albright (neuroscientist), Center for the Neurobiology of Vision, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, U.S.A. E-mail: tom@salk.edu.

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