F: What a lively scene! The figures seem to have a powerful connection and appear to be interacting with one another. It’s reminiscent of ...
M: ... a performance at the theatre. So it is. What you’re looking at here is known as a “Bühnenkrippe” – a theatre-style crib. The presentation has a theatrical quality to it. The scene is arranged like a stage set. Elements of the scenery are staggered, and the targeted lighting creates a remarkable sense of depth.
F: The lighting has a special significance. The baby Jesus is surrounded by a warm glow that falls on those around him. On the left, at a greater distance, are other figures bathed in a rather chilly light. It’s an excellent way of making the point that Christ is the light that came into the world to warm people’s hearts.
M: This crib, with a setting and figurines in the baroque style, was created by Christine and Raimund Pöllmann from the town of Schwandorf. The architecture of the crib is made of cardboard, a style developed in the 1960s by Raimund Pöllmann and Hans Buhl senior, two “Friends of the Crib” from the city of Regensburg. Parts of the figurines are hand-carved, and the clothing is home-made.
F: The figurines are arranged in small groups. But if you draw a line from Joseph's head to Mary's head and then to the child, the result is an imaginary triangle. It’s a technique by which the artists can accentuate the main group.
M: But where are the Three Wise Men? Shouldn’t they be somewhere in this scene?
F: Not really; cribs often omit the Three Kings. They actually arrived on the scene with their gifts some time later. After all, Epiphany, which commemorates the Coming of the Magi, isn’t celebrated until the 6th of January.
Fotos: © Krippenmuseum und © Trüpschuch