Friday, December 2, 2016

Open something greater this holiday season at the Art Institute of Chicago

Detail of Neapolitan crèche featuring well known figures of the Virgin, father, and child
ILLINOIS---Continuing the Art Institute of Chicago’s annual tradition, the spectacular mid-18th-century Neapolitan crèche will return to Gallery 209. The crèche, one of very few outside of Naples, is an intricate Nativity scene that reflects the vitality and artisanship that the city is still known for. The Art Institute’s crèche features over 200 figures—including no less than 50 animals and 41 items of food and drink— all staged in a spectacular Baroque cabinet with a painted backdrop. This year, a new catalogue exploring the vitality and artisanship of the crèche and its history is available in the museum’s gift shops. [More]

Churches, wealthy citizens, members of the nobility, and the royal family all competed to commission the most complex presentations of this popular art form from leading artists and artisans, the same people who were creating monumental sculptures and altars for churches and palaces.