World Nativity Traditions





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terracotta, paint

Exhibition Label

There are santons from Alsatia and Brittany. They are recent creations. The classical santons are from Provence in southern France. They are the "real" santons, the French santons. There are many and famous studios specializing in the creation of santons. In this nativity set, we have gathered forty-two santons, representing sixteen different studios, most of which are located in the southern region of Provence. The nativity group surrounded be five other characters, among them a shepherd and the gypsy woman with her baby, was created by the Coulomb studio. Most of the other "maisons" (studios) are represented with two figures. Name and history of the little characters remain unchanged, no matter which studio they come from. The difference lies in the coloring, in the details of the overall facial expressions, sometimes in the presentation of the attributes that define each character.


Handpainted, terracotta figures depicting the nativity of Jesus, created by several studios in Provence. 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, Provence (France)

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