Presepe piccolo [Small Nativity], by Arturo Martini, is a concave terracotta cast, humble in its rough material and “primitive” shapes. In the foreground is one of the Magi on horseback. The figures shrink as they rise: men, a woman, animals, trees and rooftops, all packed together to protect and keep the Infant Jesus warm. The frontal view almost necessarily comes about as a result of the back of the sculpture being flat and hollow. It was designed to be hung on the wall. But the image is far from flat. At the two sides, Martini continues to mould, with a simple joy that brings the shapes to life in his hands, as if he were a pasta chef. And here, the figures become even more retiring and humble, distant as they are from the centre, almost shrinking from our gaze. You have to move to the side to glimpse a figure lying on one side, its head facing upwards, waiting. Moving to the other side, you can see two docile sheep huddled up, close together, with another sheep above them, upright, almost vigilant, also waiting.
The event has already passed, but those on the margins appear to be still waiting. With the quiet strength that comes from confidence.
In this time of waiting, let us hope that beauty will help us all look forward to the New Year with confidence.


Martini – Presepe piccolo

Latest news

RAFAEL Y. HERMAN @ Fondazione Sant’Elia

RAFAEL Y. HERMAN ESSE 22 April - 22 June 2022 Fondazione Sant’Elia Palazzo Sant’Elia | Palermo - Via Maqueda 81   It is estimated that 83% of the world’s population lives under light-polluted skies and onethird of them will never see the Milky Way. In his work,...

Studio Guastalla @ Miart 2022

1-3 April 2022 PAD 3 BOOTH B94 Fieramilanocity Viale Scarampo, Gate 5 20149 Milan   Studio Guastalla Arte Moderna e Contemporanea is pleased to announce its participation to miart 2022, within the "ESTABLISHED" section, with a project focusing on the concept of...

A red story

EMILIO ISGRÒ SPINOZA Heart, imagination, reason. Let’s ask for their help in this time of uncertainty. They’ll listen to us. This red story by Emilio Isgrò reminds us that life is a space in which anyone can write, with the signs of one’s imagination, and that the...

Lorenzo Puglisi | Natività

Museo Marino Marini Cappella Rucellai Piazza San Pancrazio, Firenze Lorenzo Puglisi | Natività curated by Angelo Crespi  23.12.2021 - 22.01.2022  Opening 22.12.2021, 5 pm

Studio Guastalla @ Miart 2021

Sept 17-19 2021 PAV 4 BOOTH C53 Fieramilanocity Viale Scarampo (angolo via Colleoni) gate 4 20149 Milano       Studio Guastalla presents works by artists who, between the 1960s and 1970s, reflected on the linguistic and intellectual nature of the...