When my grandfather Vincenzo Scola first came to the United States from Sicily in 1913, he worked as a marble mason in Wisconsin. Years later, he made this marble piece, featuring his and my grandmother’s wedding photo. It’s one of my prized possessions.
Sicilians and Italians spend today, Saint Stephen’s Day, visiting presepi, or nativity scenes–traditional, ancient, and modern as well as tiny, life-size, and live (i.e. presented by actors accompanied by live animals)! This inlaid marble alter image depicting the Holy Family is from Palermo’s Monumentale Chiesa dell’immacolata Concezione, a masterpiece of baroque architecture built in 1612.
The dizzying Baroque decorations of the Church of Santa Caterina (1580-1596) on Palermo’s Piazza Bellini feature multicolored marble inlay and lots of curves.