The wealth of the church lies in its murals. Born out of a chance meeting and the friendship between Louis Mazetier, renowned glass master of the first half of the twentieth century and Ferdinand
Couffignal, pastor of St. Fraigne from 1910-1972 .
In 1944 Mazetier came to St. Fraigne with
his wife to carry out work making a stained glass window dedicated to the Virgin Mary. After
various agreements Mazetier actually carried out a mural that adorns the ceiling of the sanctuary. During the time when he was painting
his wife died. There
then followed a period of depression for the artist who suggested to father Couffignal a further ornamentation of the church in the form of the Stations of the Cross.
There are many anecdotes relating to the execution of this work carried out over sixty years ago. The artist painted demons with faces of villagers, family members can be recognized and even the
Bishop of Poitiers lends
his features to Pontius Pilate. The
people of St. Fraigne also said, sarcastically, that the eggs their chickens laid were on the walls of the church because Mazetier used them to bind his pigments.
by various styles (Dubuffet, Picasso, expressionism, cubism, African art ...) the work of Louis Mazetier is both original, expressive, violent and leaves no visitor
and CDs about Louis Mazetier's work are
the Visitors' Shop at Isle Nature.
You can find out more information by visiting the
website of the 'Association Histoires du Pays d'Aigre
and from Newspaper articles in the
'Sud Ouest' "Illuminé par la création" and Le Testament de Mazetier' " un concert pour sauver l'église"
Visit the church :
From 30 May to 12 October guided tours in
French are held every weekend at 16h and 17h30 and also on request for other days of the week.
Guided tours in English are available on
From October to May, and during the closing hours of the Gardens,
information about visits are available from the Mairie on 05 45 21 37 67
The church and murals restoration campaign is underway. To
support this operation, you can donate via the Heritage Foundation.