Thursday, 4 December 2008

13 Presepi (Nativity Scenes)

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...


Clement Poitrenaud - rugby player



Shelley Munro said...

Wow, these are amazing. One of our neighbors has put out a nativity scene and lights. It's very pretty and grabs my attention every time I walk/cycle past.

Sigh, I do love a rugby player. :)

Losing Myself said...

I totally LOVE nativities. I have several, but don't have them out this year due to cat.

mmmmmmmmmm Rugby my be my new favorite sport.....;)

Can't sleep? drop by and read my TT. Losing Myself

Hootin' Anni said...

The nativities are super.

And then whoa!!! CHOW indeed [caio!]

My 13 is's all Olde Enlgish today. Stop by, won't you?

Stephanie Adkins said...

WOW! Awesome list! Those are amazing. I put up a nativity scene every year too. :) To me, it wouldn't be Christmas if I didn't. After all, that's what it's about anyway. Happy Thursday! *HUGS*

Alice Audrey said...

#10 is the one we always used when I was a kid.

Adelle said...

I remember one like 12 from my childhood. Great list. Happy T13!

Jennifer McKenzie said...

The sand one and the chocolate one were pretty incredible.
I love these.
My mother has a Hummel Creche Scene. My aunt bought it for her in Germany back in the fifties. My fondest memories are arranging those delicate and detailed figures every year.
Two years ago, The Redneck bought me my own and it's up.
Thanks for the Rugby player.

Kristi said...

My T13 is centered around nativities today too, but a little but different of a spin. You have some beautiful pictures in your list.

Paige Tyler said...

Those are beautiful! Love the hot guy, too!


My TT is at

Heather said...

Simply amazing, especially #3! Some of these remind me of French nativity scenes, which often include "regular folk" such as butchers and bakers.

Nina Pierce said...

I love nativity scenes. We had a very old one with these cool little trees when I was young. But alas it got lost in the shuffle of my parent's divorce. :( It had so much detail. We have a very simple one now, but I love setting it up.

Janice said...

The one made of sand was amazing.

Did you hear about the baby Jesus that was stolen from a nativity scene and a year or so later returned with a photo album from where they baby Jesus had been? Apparently the people who took it made a trip around the world and placed the doll in the pictures they took.


Stephanie Adkins said...

These are SO BEAUTIFUL!! I love nativity scenes. Happy Thursday! *HUGS*

Robin L. Rotham said...

That's something I still have to do. We've got my husband's grandparents' large, ornate nativity scene, though, and it's hard to find a place for all of it. Usually I wind up leaving half of it packed away.

Mary said...

As a child, we always had one creche that was just to look at, and one that was made to play with. Great list.

I really do need to start watching rugby.