Visiting Salzillo Nativity Scene.
The Salzillo Nativity Scene is one of the most renowned works in the history of Spanish art. Exceptional set of more than five hundred figures that you can visit in the Salzillo Museum.
The Salzillo Nativity Scene is one of the most renowned works in the history of Spanish art
It has even been said that the Murcian sculptor was ahead of Goya in placing the soul of the people in the foreground with this exceptional ensemble of more than five hundred figures, at a time when its most picturesque and popular values were being emphasised. In contrast to the Neapolitan nativity scenes that became so fashionable in the 18th century, which were more mundane in style, the one devised by Salzillo corresponded to the Spanish tradition of the Nativity scene, more inclined to the representation of the sacred mysteries.
Made at the end of the 18th century at the end of Salzillo's life
This is why this Christmas scene, produced at the end of the 18th century, is above all a manifestation of religiosity and devotion, faithful to the sculptor's personality, in which the tastes and whims of his commissioner, the Murcian nobleman Jesualdo Riquelme, are also evident. When it was made at the end of Salzillo's life, it was said that this set was the last and most beautiful swan song, and indeed it was, as it summarised many of the achievements of the works devised by Salzillo throughout his life and disseminated by his own disciples, such as Roque López himself.
Delicate and expressive figures modelled with great skill
The peasants and shepherds of the Spain of the time, displayed within an Arcadian and affable vision of nature close to the ideals of the Enlightenment, accompany the delicate and expressive sacred figures, enhanced by the more vivid tones of their polychromes and richly decorated paintings. The figures, modelled with great skill, are thus hierarchised, as in the case of the graceful, delicate angels.
There are a thousand and one details present in the Nativity Scene that can be appreciated on each visit.
The rich livery of the pages in the procession of the Magi, the individualised faces of Herod's soldiers, the tragic attitude of the mothers defending their children in the Beheading, the musical instruments of the shepherds, the exquisite beauty of the different faces of the Virgin, the historical precision of the architecture, all this and much more make up some of the thousand and one details present in the Nativity Scene and which can be appreciated on each visit, always pleasantly surprising, to the room that houses and displays it in the Salzillo Museum.