Objet phare des musées de Grasse
Museum of Art and History of Provence
Santibelli - Crucifixion
19th century - clay, glass and wood
Museum of the Art and History of Provence - acquired by the Association of Museums
Inv. 98 181
At the limit between sacred and profane and conveying a more popular religious fervour, the Santibelli were found on sideboards and mantels in all Provençal interiors during the nineteenth century. These popular figurines in moulded clay, which were often painted in lively colours and decorated with bits of gold foil, spangles and feathers, are probably from the Marseillaise region. Does their name come from the Italian pedlars who sold them crying "santi belli"?