Giuseppe Sammartino - The Veiled Christ

The Cristo Velato (the Veiled Christ) is a sculpture completed in 1753, originally (mis)attributed to Antonio Corradini and considered one of the world’s most remarkable pieces of art. Although Corradini was in fact commissioned with the job in the first place, he died having only produced a clay model for what would later be a definitive piece sculpted in marble. It was Giuseppe Sammartino who ended up producing the astonishing sculpture of a dead Jesus, covered by a "transparent" shroud carved out of the very same marble block shared with the rest of the statue.

Marco D'Agrate - St. Bartholomew Flayed

Of all the sculptures one can find in the Milan Duomo, Marco D'Agrate's "St. Bartholomew Flayed" might be the most famous one. Made in 1562 for the Veneranda Fabbrica of the Duomo, the sculpture portrays the martyr carrying what looks like a drape on his shoulders and around his body. But it is his skin, in clear reference to the martyrdom he suffered.

Michelangelo Buonarroti - Pietà

The Pietà is the only work Michelangelo ever signed. Currently housed in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, it was originally commissioned for the French Cardinal Jean de Bilhères, who was a representative in Rome. The sculpture, in Carrara marble, was originally intended for the cardinal's funeral monument, but was moved in the 18th century to its current location.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini - The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa

Santa Maria Della Vittoria, a little basilica on Via XX Settembre, near Piazza della Repubblica in Rome, belongs to the Discalced Carmelites. They guard, with great zeal, the magnificent work of art by Bernini, “The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa,” their patron. It is a piece from the mid-17th century and is considered the apex of Bernini’s artistic genius.

Giovanni Strazza - The Veiled Virgin

Maybe not as famous as Sammartino’s 1753 Veiled Christ, Giovanni Strazza’s Veiled Virgin is another exceptional sculpture, featuring a human figure covered with a transparent shroud carved out of the very same marble block shared with the rest of the statue. The sculptor’s mastery, able to make the veil covering the head of the Virgin seem in fact “transparent,” earned this piece a well-deserved place in the history of Western sculpture.