Vesuvius Nativity scene


Naples, second half 18th century

Majolica, glazed, painted, wood, tow

H. 30–40 cm (figures)

Gift of the Councillor of Commerce Max Schmederer in 1901

Inv. No. Krippenposition 106

Gallery 149

Sculpture, Nativity Scenes

Baroque and Rococo


In his "Italian Journey" of 1787, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe also described the placement of nativity scenes in Naples during the Christmas season. He noticed that the Neapolitans would set up large nativity scenes on the flat roofs of their houses so that the scenic views of the Gulf of Naples and Mount Vesuvius could be integrated into the background of the sacred events. This nativity scene replicates just such a presentation. In doing so, the observance of the perspective and the proportions are of particular importance. In order for the nativity scene to appear harmonious, a display case of more than 10 m in depth was installed in the museum.

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