This is a vintage nativity scene by the Sisters of Bethleem Monastery, Atelier D'art Caux France. The Monastère de Bethléem began in a French stable over 50 years ago. They have taken a vow of silence and solitude and live in a community that includes both monks and sisters in male and female sections. The statues are made by the artisan Sisters in their monastery in mougeres France. They use a local dolomite stone from the Pyrenees in the south of France. It is crushed and then resin is added to allow the stone to be cast. The resulting stone, once reconstituted, takes on a rare patina when painted or may be left in its more natural ivoried matte state. The Sisters are also known for their beautiful crèches. The Monastic Family of Bethlehem are part of the Carthusian monks of San Bruno, who are scattered all over the world. The studio is in the monastery of Caux - France. In the monastery, the men create sculptures in wood, while the nuns of the Pyrenees, the stone reproductions of the classic paintings. Their style is characterized by a simplicity typical of their order. This Nativity scene is one of their more vintage works with great detail and emotion, unlike their more recent works that include more plaques and granite style abstract statues with no facial includes. Included is Mary, who has her hands open and is holding the ... read more