World Nativity Traditions





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ceramic, faience, ceramic glaze

Exhibition Label

In France nativity figures go by the name of santons after the famous santons of Provence. Thus, are well known the santons of Alsace (P. Delorme) and the santons of Brittany (Roi de Bretagne). A popular name for small and cheap statues of saints in the beginning (1850-1900), these "little saints"or santons are the guardians of at least one small corner of the French soul: its charming, gregarious, and joyful nature. In Quimper (Brittany), one of the citadels of French faience creations, they achieve a special patrician look thanks to their intense colored glazes: the white, yellow, and blue colors of the magi, and the greens for the shepherds. Only Mary and Joseph, no doubt to single out their humble station, are clad in colors of grayish green. The Christ Child sides with the kingly visitors in regal blue, white, and yellow.


Ceramic figures created in Quimper, France by the manufacturer HB-Henriot, depicting the nativity of Jesus. The date of creation is unknown. Exhibition label originally written by Fr. Johann G. Roten, S.M. for exhibit entitled "At The Manger" and held at Roesch Library, University of Dayton.


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crèches, nativity scenes, nativities, At the Manger, figurines, Jesus Christ, Quimper (France)