Posted on December 09, 2018 | 0 Comments
A Swiss nativity scene with a French touch - by Thomas Kern, pictures and text.
as published in swissinfo.ch - This is such a special celebration of a Santons Christmas, one cannot help but share the magic.
"Joseph, Mary, and the Christ Child are joined by common folk in a priceless nativity scene on show in northern Switzerland."
All alone, but not for long Putting the animals in position
"The nativity scene has been put together under the expert direction of art historian Rudolf Velhagen. Velhagen, head of the historical collection at the Museum Aargau, discovered the nativity figurines, 'Santons', while teaching art history in Marseille, and decided to bring them to Switzerland."
The people of Provence Creating the background by hand
"Made by the late French artist Marcel Carbonel, the Santons include not only the usual nativity figures, but common folk from a cross-section of Provençal society. There's a baker, knitting grandmother, fishmonger, vagabonds and men and women in traditional costume."
There's room for a shepherd....Putting together a nativity is much like putting together a train set.
"Velhagen has over 60 figurines in his collection. Each Santon has its place, representing society in its entirety and without any direct reference to the nativity story. An important source of inspiration for the figurines was the 'Lettres de mon moulin' by the French writer Alphonse Daudet (1840 - 1897), who describes happy and sad events."
They've arrived... Joseph and Mary The Three Kings are on their way
"The figurines are placed in reference to political or social conditions, while the traditional Santons - the shepherds, angels and the Three Kings - are moved each day, slowly approaching the birthplace of the Christ Child."
An angel has a prominent place.... As does a baker
The landscape of Provence Missing Jesus... who arrives