13 Presepi (Nativity Scenes)
Some of my fondest childhood memories of Christmas include setting up the Nativity scene. Whether on a table or under the tree, each year, my sister and I would meticulously arrange the figures, attempting to find the most reverent display possible.
One year, I recall painting a set of figures made of some sort of chalky ceramic material in my Sunday School class. We had to paint them gold, though, which I was none too fond of (I wanted to do more realistic details. DENIED!). Those remained in the family for a long, long time, even though the gold paint wore off and the figures got small chips in them from being in storage.
Even though I'm not so into that aspect of the holiday season anymore, I find myself fascinated with the Italian approach to the Nativity scene. Called a "Presepe" or "Presepio", Italians really do these creations with style, particularly in the area around Napoli. They go all out, putting in amazing amounts of detail into each and every figure of the display. Some go so far as to include scenes of normal, everyday life, in addition to the depictions of the birth of Christ. Made of every sort of material imaginable, they are often positively breathtaking.
Today, I present to you Tredici Presepi, or, Thirteen Nativity Scenes. Enjoy! (Don't forget to click on the pics for better detail, okay?)
3) These next three are all of the same Presepio, just to show you the detail and the inclusion of everyday life as depicted therein.
5) Yes, playfulness is allowed...
6) And so is simplicity.
7) And so is... Chocolate!
8) Oh, and so is...Sand!
(This was actually another detail from #1, I believe. I'm not completely certain, because the figures are bought in shops - it's up to the creator of the artwork to design however he/she wishes.)
And don't forget, I'll be doing a guest blog on Shelly Munro's site next Monday!
And now, for something completely different...