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Nativity Art Of Naples, Italy

Since the 18th century, Naples' artisan families have created their Neapolitan pastori figures in workshops on Via San Gregorio Armeno, an alley in the Centro Storico heart of Naples. Established under King Charles III, artisans made life-sized nativity figures carved of wood, destined for elaborate church displays. Over generations, they evolved to the smaller , terra cotta figures of today. The artisans fire them then hand-paint them and often clothe them in elaborate costumes. It’s an art form that blends sculpting, painting, fashion and tailoring. The Neapolitan Presepio (nativity scene) is Italy’s high art contribution to the world’s beloved Christmas traditions.

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Read More About Nativity Art Of Naples, Italy

The renowned pottery artisans of Naples have been making their Neapolitan nativity figures, called pastori, in since the 18th century. In the early decades, the artworks were life-sized nativity figures carved of wood, created for elaborate church displays. Under the support of King Charles III, they evolved to the miniature terra cotta figures of today, an art form that blends sculpting, painting, fashion and tailoring. Today the Neapolitan pastori are a widely-known Naples Christmas tradition, renowned for their meticulous attention for detail. Figures are fired in terra-cotta, then hand-painted and often clothed in elaborate costumes. You will find the usual nativity figures here, the holy family, the three Magi, angels, donkeys and oxen. But in Naples, they love to arrange these figures in elaborate settings called Presepio– medieval town squares, villages with thatched cottages and spinning water wheels.


READ MORE: The Neapolitan Nativity Scene.

The terra cotta and glass-domed figures we offer here are made completely by hand, in the workshop of Gambardella Pastori, located on Via. S. Gregorio Armeno in Napoli. This is a third-generation family workshop.

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