Pasquale Sciancalepore was an Italian sculptor with a very good technique when it came to creating smoothly modelled, well-balanced, life-size religious imagery, his works possessing a monumental air. His work after the 1950s is more expressive, but loses none of its softness or warmth. A lot of his sculptures are in Carrara marble, although he did not dismiss other materials, such as bronze. Sciancalepore started out making small funeral pieces until he met the founder of Opus Dei, Saint Josemaría Escrivá, who commissioned a number of sculptures for Villa Tevere, the Prelature’s headquarters in Rome. Two of the Italian artists’ finest sculptures were gifts made by the Head of Opus Dei: a “Virgen del Amor Hermoso” for the chapel on the campus of the University of Navarre and a Christ on the Cross for the Chapel of El Santísimo at the Shrine of Torreciudad (Huesca). The latter, a life-size statue in ormolu, shows Christ still alive with his eyes open before receiving the spear wound, encouraging personal repentance and conversion through contemplation of his serene suffering for the sins of mankind. Two originals were made from the plaster-of-Paris model of this Christ, the other one being for the International Centre of Cavabianca, overlooking the Tiber in Rome. Sciancalepore also made an image of Pope Saint Pius X for the centre in 1971. He was one of the sculptors asked to present a preliminary design and quotation for the main altarpiece in Torreciudad in 1968, as were the Italians Luigi Venturini and Francesco Nagni, and the Spanish sculptors Juan Luis Vasallo, Enrique Orejudo and Juan Mayné, to whom the work was finally adjudicated.
PIQUÉ, P., «Paulo VI entre los obreros», Nuestro Tiempo, Vol. XXIV, nº 138, 1965, pp. 649-659.«Ayer se inauguró en Pamplona la ermita universitaria dedicada a Santa María, Madre del Amor Hermoso», Diario de Navarra, 9 de diciembre de 1966.