Sunday, January 10, 2010

On the trail of Tissot; taking down the decorations; and an afternoon with the 'Holy Face' of Manoppello

My researches into the life and death of James Tissot continued yesterday. I found that his parents were in the 'fashion business' in Nantes which perhaps in part explains his skill in protraying the texture of fabrics and their arrangement on the female form; whilst in London he did a series of caracatures for 'Vanity Fair' magazine under the pseudonym 'Coide' (final 'e' acute); that he did indeed die in Chenancey-Bouillon as Pelerin said but have not yet managed to establish than he is buried there. Thanks also to Patricius for his contribution in the combox. Also discovered that there are still Tissots living in the area: Dominique and Alain Tissot run a gite there. Also discovered that the area is a clock-making region. Is this connected to the famous Tissot watchmakers. I always thought they were Swiss. If I can't find more on the web, having found the address of the Mayor of Chenancey I may well write to him and ask whether Tissot is buried in the commune cemetery.

The decorations?
Fr Blake asked about this recently on his blog. Here in St. Romain, up until very recently, the custom was to leave things up until Candlemas. The street lights, yes we have them in St. Romain, were not taken down until Feb 2. I knew about the custom which dates back to the time when Christmastide lasted until then and I rather appoved of observing it. In recent years they have been taken down sooner, although they are still there as I write. The custom here is to have decoration outside as well as inside the house, usually in the form of decorated greenery from the forest. This too is of antiquity. So our custom now is as follows: when the commune takes down the village lights, we take down our external decorations; when the Vatican takes down the Crib and tree in St. Peter's Square, we take down the internal decorations.

I spent this afternoon researching the Sanctuary of the Holy Face at Manoppello. Further explanation and details at my 'Spiritual Mothers of Priests' blog.

1 comment:

pelerin said...

Good luck with your research for Tissot. I see that the Mayor of this village is actually a woman! I found a site which gives her telephone number but no email address.

A few years ago I wrote to a Mairie outside Paris to enquire about the burial whereabouts of someone I was researching. There were several places of the same name but I was lucky to hit the right one first time. They kindly passed on my letter to the appropriate cemetery so I hope this mayor is as helpful for you.