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  • Il Presepe
    Part 3 of 3 - Roman & Sicilian Crèches

    by Anthony Parente

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    Influenced by the Neapolitan style, the Sicilian crèche also represents every day life in the towns and cities on the island of Sicily. Various materials have been used to create the figures used in the presepi. Most of the materials used were those that were indigenous to the region. Alabaster, coral, ivory, mother of pearl, shells and wax are some of the varying materials that were used to craft beautiful figurines that represented the people of Sicily. Some of the most noted types of Sicilian crèches can be seen at the Palazzo Vescovile in the town of Noto and the Pepoli di Trapani.

    Not to be out done by the Neapolitan and Sicilian crèches is the Roman crèche. Arnolfo di Cambio is credited with creating the first known crèche, which was made of wood, in Rome during the later part of the 13th century. The Roman crèche is patterned after the Roman countryside. Scenes often contain trees indigenous to the area and buildings that resemble ones from the ancient times. Some of the most noted Roman crèches can be found at the Santa Maria degli Apostoli church and the Via de' Genovesi.

    Each town and region of Italy offers their own style and personal touch to the presepe. No matter where you are you are sure to find a beautifully crafted Nativity scene that has the personality of the creator and the town that it is erected in. Please stop by the forum and share your thoughts about these beautiful works of art that have been around for centuries in Italy.

    Part: 1, 2, 3

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