Thursday, February 3, 2011

While in Provence...

One of the things that stands out the most about our trip to Provence were the frequent displays of Santons....small handpainted, terracotta nativity scene figurines. Most of the Cathedrals we went in had elaborate scenes representing the Christmas story including the landscape, figures, and animals of the village.

A maker of Santons is a Santonnier and the creations are essentially a family craft handed down. We visited Santons Fouque in Aix-en-Provence to see the craftsmen at work. This particular shop is famous for the creation of the "Blast of Mistral" where the movement of the cape of the shepherd is caused by the famous winds of Mistral.

The other sight that left an impression on me was the Roman aqueduct of Pont du Guard (1st century AD). It is one of the most impressive examples of Roman civil engineering and stand 50 meters above the River Gard. We were the only people walking across it but I can imagine that in the summer it is filled with tourists.


A Tale of Two Cities said...

I've loved santons for years, and it was exciting to see everyone learn about their origin and how they are so much a part of the French culture. I love my little French house--still wondering exactly where to put it!


Dianne said...

I've just found your lovely site and remember seeing these lovely terracota statues but didn't know their name ~ santons!

"All Things French"