The Neapolitan crib has for centuries intrigued artists, historians and collectors alike. Its history dates to the early sixteenth century, emerging as a highlight in times of Catholic renewal.
The Neapolitan presepe reached its zenith in the eighteenth century during the reign of Charles VII of Bourbons, King of Naples, later to be elected as Charles III, King of Spain. It was a time when the crib left the churches and entered the homes of people, including those of nobility. Distinguished Late Baroque sculptors in Naples were engaged in the production of the pastori. These commissions, coming from high aristocratic families residing in Naples, who competed in assembling some of the finest exemplars, elevated the presepe's artistic standards and secured a place in the realm of fine art.
The Neapolitan presepe, a showcase of sacred and profane and religiousness and superstition, still attracts attention to this present day. The Neapolitan Presepe - Art, History and Tradition is a lecture delivered in Maltese by Art Historian Hilary Spiteri focusing on the establishment of the Neapolitan Crib, its major exponents and legacy. The lecture will be held on Thursday, December 21 at 18:30 in Kunvent San Mark, Triq Santu Wistin, Rabat, Malta.