Niobe is a symbol of extreme sadness, handed down to us from Greek mythology. She was exceedingly proud of the number of children she had given birth to (exact numbers vary, but usually quoted as seven girls and seven boys). Her open boasting of her maternity prowess was punished by the murder of her children by Artemis and Apollo, and in her grief she was turned to stone.
Appropriate, then, that the sculpture of Niobe in Arles is sitting in the shadow of the surrounding trees.
Copyright Debbie Smyth, 24 September 2016