Spanish crips

Seven dioramas of the Catalan school

These decorations are made in the techniques of the Barcelona School, developed by Antoni MOLINIE in 1911.

Painted plaster is the main material. The framework is made of polystyrene, wood, lattice and plasterboard. The entire background is then completed with dried plants.

Decor and sheep made by Juan MESTRES BAIXAS, San Juan Despi (S). Figures in terracotta and painted lead, Atelier CASTELLS, Barcelona, (S).

Adoration of the shepherds (1988)

These landscapes depict the birth of Christ in its historical context: Bethlehem at the dawn of our time. This tradition was born in Barcelona in the XIX century, when the sculptor D. TALARN, with the help of his cribs, tried to represent a kind of archaeological restoration of life during the time of Christ. In the second half of the century, other artists in Germany and Tyrol discovered the Holy Earth and were inspired by the landscapes, sculptures and the paintings to codify and spread the oriental style.

Decor: Manuel SERENA FAIGES, Mataro (S). Figures and animals in terracotta and lead, painted, Atelier CASTELLS, Barcelona, (S).

The workshop of Joseph in Nazareth (1983)

Decor made by the members of the Association of Crib Manufacturers of Mataro and Barcelona (S).

Terracotta and lead figures, painted, Atelier CASTELLS, Barcelona, (S).

Visitation of the Virgin Mary (1983)

In this diorama the figures are of oriental type and the background decorations are Catalan. The background was made by the members of the Association of Crib Manufacturers of Mataro or Barcelona (S).

Figures in terracotta and lead, painted, studio CASTELLS, in Lluis CARRATALA and plaster figures of the school OLOTINE.

The Awakening of the Shepherds (1988)

The text passage for the proclamation to the shepherds can be found in the Gospel of Luke.

Decor by Juan MESTRES BAIXAS, San Juan Despi (S)

Terracotta and lead figures painted in oil colours, Lluis CARRATALÀ, Barcelona, (S).

Daybreak at Christmas in Andorra (1988)

A tradition of the Catalan crib is the reproduction of a real monument or landscape area in miniature format. This is the case here with the Romanesque chapel of San Juan Casellas, built in Andorra in the XI century.

CARRATALA was the first to depict the Holy Family in Catalan costumes. This was a peaceful way for him to rebel against the Franco domination, which tried to eradicate all regional peculiarities.

Background, Manuel SERENA FAIGES, Mataro (S).

Figures from Atelier CASTELLS, from Lluis CARRATALA and Andreu MUNS, Barcelona; sheep from Juan MESTRES, San Juan Despi (S).

Rest on the run to Egypt

This crib spreads a calm and cheerful atmosphere ... The group of figures is directly inspired by the film Jesus of Nazareth by Franco ZEFFIRELLI.

Oriental decor by Juan MESTRES BAIXAS, San Juan Despi (S)

Figures drawn from resin by Manuel SERENA after models by Daniel JOSE URSUEGUIA

Large oriental crib (1980)

A beautiful ensemble that is characteristic of the sculptural art that established itself in Olot, Catalonia, towards the end of the XIX century, in order to compete with imports from France. At present, about twenty workshops (with over 300 employees) share a production that is sold all over the world. These figures, of considerable size, remained a minority in Spanish production.

Figures and animals in wood cement, glass eyes, Atelier Arte Modelo, Olot Catalonia.

Production and background decoration painted with acrylic colours by Michel VINCENT, 2002.

Adoration of the Magi (1980s)

Another diorama by MESTRES showing the iconographic wealth of this artist, who applies exclusive care and precision to oriental type cribs.

Figures in terracotta and lead, painted, Atelier CASTELLS, Barcelona, (S)

Oriental style diorama by Juan MESTRES BAIXAS, San Juan Despi (S)

The source of Prades

Small diorama of native style of Manuel SERENA FAIGES that represents a district of Prades in the French Pyrenees, Mataro, before 1988.

Figures made of painted and fired clay by the brothers CASTELS and A:MUNS, Barcelona. Once more it is the representation of a well-known place.

You can see a scaled replica of the fountain in the Pueblo espanol in Barcelona. This small village in the Pyrenees is located 4 km from of the Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa Abbey, which was destroyed during the French Revolution. There was an underground chapel that was dedicated to St. John the Baptist.

There was an underground chapel dedicated to the Blessed Virgin of Bethlehem. There, one worshiped the diapers of the baby Jesus. These relics are kept in the church of Prades.

Small Diorama: Adoration of the Wise Men

Small diorama, plaster, wood and metal, painted, fabric, Manuel SERENA FAIGES, Mataro, 1974.

Figures made of painted and fired clay, unique pieces by Marti CASTELLS, Barcelona.

Classic Catalan diorama, very detailed. We also encounter the two influences again: The figures are reproduced in the oriental and the landscape in the native style.