Incredible 18th-Century Sculpture Has A Net Carved From A Single Block Of Marble

The details are mind-blowing. You’d never imagine this was hand carved from a SINGLE piece of marble.

It’s something not many of us can comprehend, but the statue titled “The Release from Deception,” or Il Disinganno, was carved from one gigantic slab of Italian marble.

The sculpture was created by artist Francesco Queirolo in the 18th century, and showcases a delicate and impressive net draped over a man who faces an angel. Queirolo (1704–1762) was an Italian Genoese-born sculptor, active in Rome and Naples during the Rococo period.

Release from Deception stands 195cm high and was produced in 1752-1759.The masterpiece was carved from a single piece of marble and can be seen in Cappella Sansevero, Naples. The ambitious project was considered by some to be impossible to complete, and only Francesco agreed to attempt it.

The symbolism is as rich as the skill and as deep as an ocean. When one gazes upon the sculpture, it’s up to them to decide what it means to them and their lives and whether the piece of artwork takes on a religious meaning or a secular one.

However, the artist did have a specific meaning behind it.

The Release from Deception shows a man’s emergence from the snares of error. It is, in fact, a self-portrait of the sculptor, as he is being helped from a net of cords by his own intellect, shown in the guise of a winged boy; the intellect points at the world, the source of deception, with a sceptre.

The intricate detail and immense attention to every millimetre of space can be seen when looking at the netting.

In addition to religious undertones, the sculpture incorporates secular symbols. For example, the flame on the angel’s head represents human intellect, while the globe signifies worldly passions. These elements coincide with Raimondo’s dedication to his father, which explores the idea of “human fragility, which cannot know great virtues without vice.”

It reportedly took Queirolo seven years to fabricate this marble net, which he crafted without a workshop, apprentice, or other form of external assistance. The Sansevero Chapel Museum notes that this is because even the most specialized sculptors “refused to touch the delicate net in case it broke into pieces in their hands.”

Have you ever seen anything more beautiful?

Be sure to share this incredible masterpiece with your friends.

Raven Josephine-Povar

Born in Chile, I moved to NY when I was 17, and never stopped chasing my dreams. Avid writer, and cat enthusiast, I explore the world around me and share the interesting things I find with an open mind.