Saint Patricia (1625) by Leonardo Carpentiero
Photo courtesy of Electra Napoli*
"The creative genius of Neapolitan chaos juxtaposes and merges the two female archetypes, and tosses in an element of ancient sorcery for piquancy. Both Parthenope and Saint Patrizia are virgins and have noble ancestry. Both have power to control natural elements. Both came from the East and died on the shores of the Gulf of Naples. Patrizia landed on the island of Megaride, where Virgil cast his saving spell on the Castel dell'Ovo, where the ancient Cumans built the first Neapolitan buildings, and where they believed Parthenope arrived, dead or dying. And in the seventeenth century, at the height of the Baroque, the body of Saint Patrizia was carried to a monastery atop the hill of Caponapoli, where, centuries earlier, the tomb of Parthenope was located. Patrizia was proclaimed a patron saint of Naples from Parthenope's old temple." (p. 38-39)
Fountain of the Siren (Fontana della Sirena),
Piazza Sannazaro, Napoli
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
"Saints bodies in life and after death were considered to have efficacious healing powers, and their blood was believed to be able to transmit grace and virtue, a symbolism that connected aristocratic values and noble blood to the religious fervor of saintly virtue." (p. 204-205).This ancient cult of the blood is peculiarly Neapolitan and still resonates with the devoted people of Naples today.
|Castel dell'Ovo, Megaride (Photo by New York Scugnizzo)|