A funny nativity scene? Of course yes, thanks to the skill of the great masters of the Neapolitan nativity scene! Here are 5 characters for an animated nativity scene that will make you smile
It is not easy to choose the characters for your animated nativity scene. In addition to the canonical characters, which cannot be missing, the Holy Family, first of all, the shepherds, the ox and the donkey, the three wise men, and all those characters that contain more or less hidden symbols, those who love the traditional Nativity populate it every year with new appearances, enrich it with skits and glimpses that give it greater truthfulness, local colour, which make it more picturesque and personal.
But how far can we go to liven up our Nativity scene?
We have spoken extensively of the ancient Neapolitan nativity art, which is renewed every year in the alleys of the picturesque district of San Gregorio Armeno, which for centuries has been used to host the workshops of master craftsmen devoted to the creation of figurines for the Nativity scene. Once, where the church dedicated to San Gregorio Armeno now stands, there was the temple of the goddess Ceres, goddess of fertility and crops, to whom terracotta statuettes were offered as a gift, which was made in the artisan shops already present in the street at that time. These shops were possibly converted over time, transforming themselves to make statuettes for the Nativity scene, after the construction of the church and the spread of the cult of San Gregorio and Santa Patrizia. It is fascinating to think that even these two saints were brought in terracotta statuettes in offerings, as a sign of devotion and gratitude for the graces obtained.
10 characters that cannot be missing from your nativity
When St. Francis of Assisi had the idea of reproducing the birth of Jesus, his intention was to make an important and…
We certainly know that it was precisely here that between 1600 and 1700 the tradition of the Neapolitan Nativity scene statues experienced an impressive development and was codified according to the rules we still know today. Rules that are not rules, because one of the most fascinating aspects of this nativity scene tradition is its subversiveness, its surprising theatricality, in a mixing of the sacred and the profane, with the increasingly impressive introduction of characters linked to popular tradition, such as traders, beggars, buskers, as well as stalls, shops, taverns, in an increasingly strong and felt call to the life of Naples and its lively streets. Even the tendency to populate the Neapolitan nativity scene with even grotesque figures, men and women suffering from deformities, burdened by poverty, was fueled on the one hand by the love for this local colour, on the other by the desire to show humble, unfortunate, suffering people and therefore closer to Jesus.
The folkloristic detail trend has not left the alleys of San Gregorio Armeno even today. In addition to handing down the processing techniques and the secrets of their ancestors, the Neapolitan masters keep their subversive spirit intact, populating their nativity scenes not only with the innumerable traditional characters, each now invested with a fascinating and suggestive symbolic charge, but adding new characters every year, inspired by the world of politics, entertainment, current events, sport. So it will not be unusual to find on the stalls of San Gregorio Armeno, alongside the characters for animated nativity scenes such as shepherds and wives, footballers acclaimed by the fans, presenters and showgirls, even characters from successful television series.
These contaminations make us understand how the Neapolitan Nativity still lends itself today to the juxtaposition of traditional and modern characters, even bizarre ones. Our article arises from this point of view, in which we want to offer you five funny characters for the Nativity scene. Characters for nativity scenes in movement also made in this case by Neapolitan masters, all strictly by hand, in terracotta. Once made, the statues are covered with fabric, which is shaped and treated. The craftsmanship of each detail makes each setting and each figurine always different and unique.
Let’s go through them together.
Woman with broom hitting her drunk husband
An always up-to-date domestic scene, which cannot help but make us smile: an angry wife who hits her deadbeat and drunk husband with her broom. In our store, you will find five variants, all animated.
In the variant Drunk and woman with broom 14cm animated Neapolitan nativity scene we see the two characters portrayed with exceptional realism, he sprawled seated, she standing, and with a truly combative expression! The patterned fabric and every detail cared for by hand down to the smallest detail give an exceptional vividness to the scene. It almost seems to hear the screams of the woman who inveighs against her drunkard husband. The movement uses a 220V electric motor and metal levers, it is activated by simply connecting the power outlet. The limited availability of fabrics and the manual processing of each detail make this picture unique. Note the wealth of details, the beautiful movement effect given by the fabric details, the realism of the broom made with real wood.
The painted terracotta statuettes are beautiful, carefully finished in every detail according to the secrets of the ancient nativity scene tradition of Naples. The clothes and details are in treated and shaped fabric. All materials are characterised by high reliability and durability. Buy Now
Female country gossips
Another animated scene that can give a touch of irony and fun to your Neapolitan nativity scene is that of the two wives gossiping to each other. This image also never goes out of fashion and retains all its realism and cheerfulness over time.
In our store, you will find a variant of Neapolitan nativity gossip women suitable for cribs of 15 cm, with the two wives seated, intent on chattering: one listens to the other, who seems to show her the size of something, certainly exaggerating them a little! Also in this case, as for the wife who beats her drunkard husband, the statues are made entirely in Italy according to the Neapolitan nativity scene tradition in terracotta and shaped cloth for the clothes.Buy Now
Woman chasing mice away
What's more fun than a housewife trying to shoo mischievous mice with a broom? We present three variations, one more beautiful than the other, all in terracotta and fabric, all with fabulous motion effects.
The woman chases mice Naples 14cm, shows an animated scene with the woman standing on the chair, while with a broom in hand she tries to chase the mice eating her cheese away. Around her are sacks of flour and other mice, to make the scene even more lively and realistic. The woman is in terracotta, dressed in pieces of cloth. Mice and pieces of cheese are terracotta. The flour sacks are made of white fabric.
A wooden box behind the figure hides the motor that allows movement, which consists of the horizontal movement of the arms as if he were actually crushing something with the broom.Buy Now
Woman spanking a baby
The women of the Nativity scene are not only struggling with drunk husbands and slackers, but also with naughty children. Here is the idea of the Mother spanking a child in an animated Neapolitan nativity scene 12cm. A truly irresistible scene that represents a mother spanking her son, sitting on a terracotta chair, all on a wooden base.
The figurines are in terracotta, covered with pieces of cloth, and behind them is the wooden box that contains the motor that allows movement: the right hand of the mother rises and lowers to spank the brat, while with the left holds him. The scene is 12cm high and suitable for a 12cm nativity scene.Buy Now
An original and impressive idea, perfect for Nativity scenes arranged on different levels is the scene of the basket: an old woman lowers a basket tied to a rope to a man who raises his arms to welcome it. The scene is really beautiful and will be of great effect if we have the opportunity to place the figurines in such a way that one is on a higher floor and the other below.
In our store, you will find two versions: Baker scene 10cm basket and 13cm Neapolitan nativity scene basket. In both cases, the woman holds the rope with the basket in her hands and the man with his arms raised tries to take it. The figurines are as always in terracotta and covered with fabric, shaped and treated. The craftsmanship of each detail makes each setting and each figurine always different and unique.Buy Now