In 1964, the Metropolitan Museum received the Loretta Hines Howard collection of Neapolitan crèche figures and, since then, the Museum’s annual display has become a cherished holiday tradition. One of the largest groups in the collection is the host of elegant silk-robed angels suspended in adoration above the Holy Family. The 2012 Angel Tree Christmas Ornament is based on an original eighteenth-century angel from this vivid Nativity scene.
Gold overlay. Hand painted. Includes a gold cord for hanging. Gift boxed. 3 5/8''H x 2 1/4''W.
- Gold overlay
- Hand painted
- Includes a gold cord for hanging
- Gift boxed
- 3 5/8''H x 2 1/4''W
Art HistoryThe crafting of Christmas crèches originated as a devotional practice in Europe in the Middle Ages. The custom of crafting large crèches with a multitude of figures was already well established in Naples when Charles III of Bourbon became king in 1734. As the creation of crèche figures gathered momentum and crèches became increasingly elaborate, the most gifted sculptors of Naples lent their talents to the task.