From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The Cappella Sansevero (also known as the Capella Sansevero de' Sangri or Pietatella) is a chapel north of the church of San Domenico Maggiore, in the historic center of Naples, Italy. The chapel is more properly named the Chapel of Santa Maria della Pietà, or the Pietatella. It contains works of art by some of the leading Italian artists of the 18th century.
The chapel also displays two early examples of what was long thought to be a form of plastination in its basement. These "anatomical models" (macchine anatomiche) were thought to be examples of the process of "human metallization" (metallizzazione umana) as implemented by anatomist Giuseppe Salerno ca. 1760 from a commission by Raimondo di Sangro. The exhibit consists of a mature male and a pregnant woman. Their skeletons are encased in the hardened arteries and veins which are colored red and blue respectively. Previously, historians have surmised that the corpses could have been created by injecting the hardening substances directly into the veins of living subjects. However, recent analysis shows no evidence of techniques involving injection. Analysis of the "blood vessels" indicate they are constructed of beeswax, iron wire, and silk.