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Neapolitan Crèche Presentation at the Woodbury Public Library
January 3 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pmFree
It may be said that the most prestigious and desirable type of Nativity figures ever produced was the Neapolitan Crèche. It was the Italians who in the 12th century realized for the first time a Nativity of actual people, and by 1283, commissioned by Pope Onofrio, first displayed figurines of the Holy Family during the Christmas season. Thereafter, the Crèche concept rapidly spread throughout Europe, especially Spain, Portugal, France, and Poland. Join Nadine Cascini, co-owner of Studio Hill Gallery, for a talk on the history of Neapolitan Crèche art at the Woodbury Public Library.
The 18th century was the golden age of Crèche art. Neapolitan royalty soon adopted this tradition for their personal enjoyment. Kings and aristocrats began commissioning leading artists to create miniature nativity figures for their own homes. These people demanded the finest crèches made from the finest materials created by the most well-known artists of the day. Interest grew to feature extravagant panoramas containing hundreds of figures. Art figures were displayed in miniature settings of city buildings or countryside vistas. They depicted celebratory scenes of gift-bearing people including merchants, slaves, animals, kings, and wealthy patrons adorned in precious metals and gemstones. It is recorded that the Neapolitan King’s own collection numbered over 6,000 figures.
This is just a taste of the rich history of the Neapolitan Crèche which will be discussed by Ms. Cascini, whose family has been working with leading Italian artists and importing the handmade works of art for 22 years. Discover the history, the challenges, and the growth in popularity of the Neapolitan Crèche in the United States during the early decades of the 20th century through the present day. She will be discussing some of the most popular and extensive Crèche collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s crèche, The Knights of Columbus Museum crèche in New Haven, CT, as well as the crèche at the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, CT. Reservations are requested for this program.