Royal craftwork from Naples
One area of our Museum’s collection of miniatures is dedicated to the Neapolitan folk art of nativity-scene making. The exhibition with its scenes of typical everyday Mediterranean life conveys a unique insight into the life of the citizens of 18th-century Naples.
The Neapolitan folk art of nativity-scene making originated in the depiction of the Holy Family at the end of the 15th century. The Bourbon King Charles III was responsible for the heyday of Mediterranean nativity-scene making. His passion for the art form was passed on to well-to-do citizens, monasteries and churches.
Our exhibits on the 3rd floor of the Museum were created by the Neapolitan nativity-scene artist Mario Capuano in many months of meticulous craftsmanship. He created a scene covering some 15 m2 whose buildings, figures and more than a hundred accessory items represent an authentic depiction of everyday life in 18th-century Naples. Nativity-scene making has been a passion of the Capuano family since 1840. Among their recent important works are nativity scenes for the pilgrimage church in San Giovanni Rotondo and for King Juan Carlos of Spain.
Perfection in miniature
The miniatures tell real or fictitious stories of various kinds with impressive attention to detail and are constructed in a 1:12 scale. It is with this contemporary spin on the art of the dollhouse that the Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel fosters the art of modern dollhouse construction.