Nota de aplicación
Figures representing characters in the Christmas story, including infant Jesus in the manger, the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph, sheep, the ox and ass, and other attending figures, such as shepherds, magi, and angels. The term is usually reserved for figures in the round, excluding relief sculptures or paintings. According to legend, Saint Francis of Assisi popularized the Christmas crèche in 1223 when he used live actors to portray the scene. Nativity figures are known in most Christian countries; the height of nativity figure development occurred in 17th-19th-century Naples, when churches competed with grad displays of large figures dressed in clothing, and elaborate village scenes were included.