In 2023 is celebrated the eight-hundredth anniversary of the first representation of the Nativity of Jesus, made by St. Francis of Assisi in Greccio.
In 1223, in fact, he stopped in the Rieti valley: the existing caves reminded him of those seen in the Holy Land and, in particular, the scenery of Bethlehem. So, thanks to the help of the friars and the population, he created the first living Nativity scene for December 25th. Since that experience, the depiction of the Nativity has spread all over the world, reaching the present day. On the occasion of this important anniversary, the glazed terracotta of Giovanni Della Robbia’s workshop, coming from the ancient sacristy of the Conventof San Francesco in Fiesole, is exhibited here. The work, dating back to the early sixteenth century, testifies to the artistic and devotional attention that the Della Robbia workshop paid to the theme of the Nativity and manifests, in the simple narrative structure and range of colors, a special essentiality compared to the decorative, chromatic and compositional richness of other works by the same artist.