Fouettard father and mother – J. Lomain, 1881
These two statuettes are made of bronze and rest on a pink marble base.
The first one represents the bogeyman. The man is covered with a large hat, has bells on his belt, wears pointed shoes and carries a large hood full of crying and screaming children. The five children in the hood have facial features marked by sadness and terror.
The second represents the companion of the bogeyman. The threatening figure provokes the same fear in the children accumulated in his hood. The bogeymother does not sulk about her pleasure in taking away the children who have not been good, conducting her business in the manner of her husband.
This iconography is typical of Eastern Europe and is part of the St. Nicholas’ Day folklore.
The circular base of the bronze is engraved with an “F”. Lomain”, a probable indication of the sculptor’s name.
Father fouettard was born in the 16th century in Metz. He is the faithful (evil) counterpart of Saint Nicolas, the terror of children who are not wise. A perfect gift to remind your dear offspring of the need to behave!