Italian crib with fountain (1989)
The figures, animals and buildings are made of ceramics and follow the local tradition of the XIXth century. This crib, specially designed for the Ars Krippana Museum, is inspired by the village of Castelvecchio di Rocca Barbena, whose existence has been documented for over a thousand years. This is also the birthplace of the artist. The lava stones from the Eifel (an area with extinct volcanoes) are a wonderful way to imitate the hills.
Delia ZUCCHI, Savona (I)
Original Italian crib (1994)
14 groups, individual parts, white glazed ceramic, 30 cm.
Delia ZUCCHI, Savona
Marcellus crib, exhibited in the railway station of Rome
In this crib there are 33 figures and 52 animals. The figures of the popular type are based on the tradition of the Roman painter and sculptor Bartholomeo PINELLI (1781-1835).
The background (painted by the staff of the railway station under the supervision of Mario DI CARLO) depicts the monuments of ancient Rome. This crib artist, who worked for Cinecittà for many years (making decorations for the cinema), was able to recreate whole areas of villages or monuments with the help of plaster and a rare talent.
This 1/20 scale reconstruction shows the ancient theatre from the time of the birth of Christ. Behind it the medieval inn "de la Catena" (inn to the chain) harmoniously complements the ensemble.
The columns that can be seen in front of the theatre are the remains of the Temple of Apollo "Sociano". The ruined temple and the stable (where the Holy Family took refuge) symbolize the destruction of the former pagan cults. Catholicism triumphs with the arrival of the Messiah. Augustus, a great builder and protector of the arts, has often been compared to the Messiah. His reign opened the golden age of Roman classicism.
Elio SIMONETTI for the company Fontanini, Borgo a Mozzano, Tuscany (I)
This nativity scene was exhibited from 13 December 1991 to 13 January 1992 in the hall of the Roma-Termini station in Rome.
Series of Dioramas of the Magi (1988)
This series of four dioramas has been created for the excellent crib exhibition that takes place every Christmas in the arenas of Verona.
A In the Old Testament and in Judaism, the stars obey the will of God. The wise men notice an extraordinary celestial phenomenon.
But the birth of Jesus is not alone; the birth of Bouddha is also proclaimed by a star. The late Brahmanic tradition gives us the most striking example. At his birth Agni, the three-headed fire god, is placed between the donkey, the bearer of the Soma (drink of immortality), and the mystical cow by his mother, the virgin Maya, and his earthly father Twâstri, the carpenter. His birth is associated with the appearance of a star called SaVaNaGRaHa.
B The wise men on their way to Judea meet in the desert and compare their observations.
C Since they do not know where to go, the wise men turn to the palace of Herod the Great. The scribes refer to the Messianic prophecy: "And thou, Bethlehem Ephratha, which art thou small among the thousands in Judah, out of thee shall come him that be Lord in Israel, which going forth hath been from the beginning and from everlasting". (Micah 5:2). This prophecy, misunderstood by the monarch, will then result in the massacre of the innocent.
D The wise go to Bethlehem and worship the child. The artist imagines this scene in Joseph's workshop.
Plaster figures, articulated and covered with fabric, A. & M. BERETTINI
Background with perspective according to the diorama techniques of the School of Barcelona, Claudio MATTEI, Ponte San Pietro (Italy)
Here the event of the birth of Christ is transferred to the former ghetto, where the Israelites had to live until 1870. The arcade of Octavian, a few dozen metres from the Marcello Theatre, is depicted.
Figures in carved terracotta, Atelier CASTELLS, Barcelona, (S).
Dressed figures, Antonio GRECO, Castellammare di Stabia, Naples, (I).
Background, Giorgio PASSEGGIERI, Freddy AWAD, Rome.
The Midnight Mass in Greccio, Italy (1988)
The composition is inspired by the real things of the village of Greccio and by an episode in the life of Saint Francis of Assisi, to whom his order attributed several centuries later the justification of the crib practice.
On Christmas night 1223, he had a midnight mass celebrated in a cave in Abruzzo. A donkey and an ox were tied to both sides of the altar. Thomas de Celano, the biographer of the saint and witness of the events, tells in his Vita Prima that the fervor was so great that everyone present had the vision of a small child who seemed to be asleep.
Figurines made of plaster and fabrics by A. & M. BERETTINI, (I)
scenography by Claudio MATTEI, Ponte San Pietro (I)
Oriental crib (1988)
Created for the inauguration of a Roman shopping centre, this crib depicts the birth of Christ in its historical setting.
Figures and animals in wood cement, Arte Modelo, Olot, (S).
Background in polystyrene, jute canvas and painted plaster, Claudio BIANCONE and Giorgio FERNI, Rome, (I).
Crib in Sicilian style (1987)
On this Sicilian village square you will find houses in ochre tones and with tiled roofs. Citrus fruits, corn on the cob, grapes of tomatoes as well as pepper and paprika peppers decorate the facades. The figures, made of resin, have been restored with laminated and painted fabrics according to a Sicilian technique that was very modern in the XVII century.
Decor by Giorgio PASSEGIERI and Giorgio BERARDI, made for the apartments of Pope Jean-Paul II.
Restored in 2001 by Michel VINCENT, Liège (B).
Resin figurines, MARCHI Company, Bagni di Lucca and Fontanini, Borgo a Mezzano (I).