Les Santons

One of the things I love most about the South of France is that it’s got real character. The ‘santons’ bring this to the fore, demonstrating country scenes from the typical to the comical.

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These large santon figures are fitted with clothing and outfits to suit their trade, but smaller clay figures also exist and can be placed alongside hand painted clay florists, bakers, butchers, markets, schools etc. to create a whole village scene. Many people collect them.

When back in Melbourne, I take part in the Paris to Provence French Festival, whose Santon display never fails to initiate wonder and intrigue. It was fantastic to come and see where these little figurines in their birthplace. Every time we saw a Santon display set up in a window, we paused in front of the shop for a good ten minutes comparing these jolly characters and making up stories about their little inanimate lives.

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