Presepio in gallery

Installation view of Neapolitan presepio, 1700–1830, Carnegie Museum of Art. Photo: Bryan Conley

Neapolitan Presepio

Scaife Galleries

Since 1957, Carnegie Museum of Art has marked the holiday season with the Neapolitan presepio. A centuries-old tradition in Naples and southern Italy, the presepio is an elaborate nativity scene recreated with miniature figures arranged in a detailed panorama of 18th-century life in Naples. Handmade by artists in the Royal Court of Naples between 1700 and 1830, the presepio includes superbly modeled humans, animals, angelic figures, and architectural elements.

This season, encounter the Neapolitan presepio in Carnegie Museum of Art’s Scaife galleries. The cherished fixture will be exhibited in proximity to paintings and sculptures in the collection, contextualizing the artwork. Sharing a gallery with Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces such as The Nativity and The King and the Shepherd (1888) by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, visitors will be able to enjoy and reflect on the presepio in an inspiring and new context.

Art Chats

Drop in and meet a docent for an Art Chat about the presepio and experience the nativity through the eyes of Neapolitan artisans and collectors. Art Chats are on a drop-in basis and will take place from November 19, 2022, until January 8, 2023; free with museum admission. Thursday: 6–7:30 p.m.; Saturday: 10:30 a.m.–noon; and Sunday: 1–2:30 p.m.

Additional Media

Exhibition Images