Objet phare des musées de Grasse

Museum of Art and History of Provence

Santibelli - Crucifixion

05 June 2014 / 17h00

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"?