Palace-Nativity scene – Marble palace with the Adoration of the Magi


Giuseppe Sammartino, Lorenzo Mosca

Naples, second half 18th century

Majolica, glazed, painted, wood, tow

H. 30– 40 cm (figures)

Gift of the Councillor of Commerce Max Schmederer in 1904

Inv. No. Krippenposition 108

Gallery 150

Sculpture, Nativity Scenes

Baroque and Rococo


Max Schmederer, the world-renowned collector of nativity scenes from Munich, acquired the figures for this nativity scene before 1900 at an auction of objects belonging to the former royal house of Bourbon-Sicily and donated them to the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum in 1904. These are unique, spectacular ensembles with finest decorative details, known as finimenti, such as, for example, the 'Turkish Music Corps' - a truly royal Adoration of the Magi. The exoticism and splendour on display make it clear how the patron and the artist here created an image contrary to the biblical story: the stable in Bethlehem has become a Baroque marble palace with an extensive, oriental-looking entourage.

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