World Nativity Traditions



Rio de Bretagne


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Creation Date



terracotta, paint

Exhibition Label

Ferociously independent and intensely dedicated to the sea, Saint Anne, and its reputation of being the guardian of the end of the world (Finistère), Brittany, situated in the northwestern corner of France, has its own brand of Santons. Manufactured by the studio of "Roi de Bretagne" in Plougastel, the figures are entirely handcrafted and painted. Each piece bears the initials of the artisan who made it. The costumes are based on models exhibited in the “Musé e departemental Breton”of Quimper. Jesus is featured in the baptismal attire of Plougastel, whereas Mary and Joseph are wearing the costumes of Point-Aven respectively, Bannalec. The couple of Gu é rande, called "swampers," are collectors of salt. Johnny of Roscoff is selling onions in England. He is accompanied by his buddy, the fisherman, who takes him across the channel. The ladies of Morbihan represent human condition: they are the "chatter boxes." The couple of Plougastel carries an apple tree laden with red apples --a promise of new life in the midst of winter, and a symbol of Christmas.


Painted terracotta figures depicting the nativity of Jesus, created by the studio Roi de Bretagne. 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, Brittany (France)

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