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Presepio Napoletano

With its immense 12 by 32 foot original size, our

A Celebration of Presepio of Naples

The word presepio comes

from the Latin praesepire,
meaning to enclose, a
reference to a stable or a place
where animals were kept
and where the Christ Child
is said to have been born.
Its present meaning is manger or crib, but
it refers to much more than this. When describing a three dimensional representation of
the birth of Jesus, it is the presence of the scenic elements artistically arranged around the
figures depicting the holy event that make the
representation a presepio and not a nativity
Presepio art reached new heights in the 18th
century when Neapolitan royalty adopted the
tradition for their own personal enjoyment.
They began commissioning artists to create
more complex and elaborate scenes with
exquisite detail and handiwork. Glass eyes,
precious gems, fine silk and brocade fabrics
were used in creating works of incredible scale.
Nativity figures were joined by everyday people fishermen, merchants, peasants and
slaves and the manger scene was placed into
daily life. Presepio Napoletani became more
and more grand.
Today, we are fortunate to have these beautiful
and extravagant miniature settings as a
reminder of our faith and rich Italian culture.

Presepio is one of the largest of these types of works

created in the 20th Century. Its wonderful setting was
created by a Neapolitan
master craftsman. Mt. Vesuvius provides a background
ponds, caves and castles
that surrounds the village.
One can only marvel at the
intricate detail in the masonry work, especially the
columns and bricks with their amazing realism. The
Village is brought to life by miniature houses, piazzas, and a collection of artfully designed characters,
which originally numbered more than 400. The taller
figures dressed in period clothes are made of a core
of wire and hemp, have painted heads and hands
made of terra cotta, and are the work of artisans
from Via San Gregorio Armeno in Naples. Other
smaller figurines are made of terracotta(clay), also
the work of other Neapolitan artisans. On display is
a 12 by 20 foot section depicting the Holy Family and
accompanying angels in the landscape of a Neapolitan village with various merchants, shepherds and
families in a variety of poses reflecting everyday 18 th
Century village life.

Presepio Napoletano Donations

Your contribution in any amount supports
Presepio Napoletano a holiday tradition at the
Westchester Italian Cultural Center. This
treasure is the cornerstone of our permanent
collection. Originally measuring 12 by 32 feet
with more than 400 historically accurate figurines
some taller than one foot that represent our
very rich cultural and spiritual traditions. The
Presepio figurines are constantly undergoing
restoration .
Please see other side for information regarding contributions.

Exhibit on View
November 19, 2016 - January 14, 2017
Tuesday through Friday
10:00am to 4:00pm
Evenings and weekend hours are usually available
whenever the Center is open for events, or you might
call (914) 771-8700 to schedule an appointment.

Exhibit Fee: Suggested donations: $10

Viewing hours subject to change.

One Generoso Pope Place

Tuckahoe, NY 10707

The Westchester Italian

Cultural Center
would like to thank those
involved in the production of this
The Generoso Pope Foundation and
David Anthony Pope, President and CEO.
A special thank you to our volunteers
whose tireless dedication makes the
realization of our

Presepio Napoletano
possible year after year.

Westchester Italian Cultural Center

One Generoso Pope Place
Tuckahoe, NY 10707
(914) 771-8700 ~ WICCNY.ORG

November 16, 2016

Through January 14, 2017
One Generoso Pope Place
Tuckahoe, NY 10707