Friday 27 April 2012

Mysteries in stone

This little stone figure peeps from a casing high on a building at the corner of the Place de la Poste in St Christol in the Vaucluse. It's a confidently jaunty pose from this tiny chap in his frock coat. I've no idea who or what he represents, and I should have asked at the cafe opposite when I was there, but I didn't. These days it's all too easy to think that you can find out anything from the internet, but in this case I drew a blank. Though I did find a photo, taken at the start of the 20th century, of the building. You can just make out the lantern-shaped casing jutting out between the corner statue (of the Virgin and child) and the shuttered window:

Impossible to tell from this what it is, without knowing what you're looking for. Here it is closer in:

I'd gone to St Christol for other researches for the new novel and novella but, of course, once my imagination had been snagged I was left wondering. So much of the long history of Provence and the stories inlaid in the landscapes are left casually hidden in plain view. If you want the tales and explanations, you have to find the right person to ask and if you strike lucky, you'll be enlightened in the age-old way, by word of mouth.

It goes without saying, that if anyone who happens to read this knows about this statue, please do tell me! 

We might even have found a mysterious stone face of our own, at home. The light has to be right, but when it falls brightly from the south, I'm convinced this shows the weathered face of a cherub on the end of a step:

What do you think? Is this a stone that was re-used from somewhere else or is this yet another example of my over-active imagination spinning off into the realms of fantasy?


Victoria Corby said...

That definitely looks like a cherub to me.

Why this blog? said...

i agree, its clearly a face and may have been re-used or perhaps a previous owner fancied having their own personal gargoyle albeit on a step.


Yvonne Osborne said...

Your environs are so ancient and historical, it'd be easy to let the immagination run amuck. I love the jaunty little guy. The ruins remind me of Antigua, Guatemala and the story about the butler who was buried in the wall with his boots on for consorting with the countess. Now there's a story!

James Kiester said...

The way he has his hand in hi pocket, and is leaning against the inside of the stone box, he reminds me of an Irishman who's contemplating whether or not to go home after having one to many pints at the pub.

Muriel said...

I have no idea what this little statue might be. the only thought that crossed my mind was that the little man seems to be wearing the traditional outfit from Provence/Camargue. Good luck with the research!

Sara Louise said...

That definitely looks like a wee cherub!
If you find out about the small statue please post about it, my curiousity is piqued :)

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