Unique Santons in Tarascon!

Who could possibly say that all the santon figurines in Provence look alike after having visited Christine Darcq's studio in the heart of Tarascon? Let this santon-maker unlike any other surprise you with her creations!
By Claire Vincent

Christine Darcq has, in just a few years of practicing her art, acquired quite a name for herself amongst the small world of santonniers.

A modern, jovial and dynamic woman, she creates santons that are much like her: contemporary, and expressing joy and a love of life. They seduce both young and old with their soft, round forms, their pure lines and their attractive, happy colors. Darcq invites you to create a new kind of crèche. Of course, the traditional characters that compose the Provencal crèche is maintained, and we find all the indispensible figures: not only is there the Holy Family, the shepherds and the Three Kings, but also the Ravi, Bartholomew, the hunter, the cowboy, the gypsy, the miller, and the baker… not to mention, of course, the female characters like the greengrocer, the baker’s wife… and the animals! But there again, we’re surprised by the diversity; in addition to the usual lambs, ducks, dogs, horses and donkeys, there are cats, owls and even mice! In all there are more than 80 models to choose from, including lots of accessories like windmills, boats and bags of flour…

You’ll find everything you need to create a beautiful crèche without projecting the somewhat outdated image of traditional santons dressed in 18th century Provencal costumes!

Indeed, the simplicity of these santons’ clothes gives them a timeless feel, and the absence of painting on their faces is an open door for the imagination. Their small, round silhouettes communicate a certain good-naturedness… these earthenware characters that bring us back to our childhood are not so much naïve as endearing, and even touching.

Looking at these little clay saints, it’s tempting to keep them on display all year round – not only during the short Christmas period. Perhaps Christine understands this; she’s created a whole series of adorable cherubs to watch over us all year long.

In this immaculately white and peaceful studio, there is all the magic of Christmas in Provence and the talent of a benevolent artist. A must see!

L’atelier
22 rue des Halles
13150 Tarascon
T 04 90 91 34 15
www.atelierautourdelaterre.com
Chrisitine Darcq
Chrisitine Darcq
Tarascon
Photographie José Nicolas

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