The French province of Brittany juts westward into the Atlantic Ocean on a granite peninsula, dotted with megaliths from the age of Stonehenge. Many Bretons are descendants of Celtic settlers who arrived centuries ago by sea after crossing the English Channel from Britain and Ireland. The distinctive Breton language, customs, and style of Christianity live on and give the people of this region a reputation of being the least French of the French.
Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), Breton Girls Dancing, Pont-Aven (1888), French. Oil on canvas. Reprinted with permission from the Collection of Mr and Mrs Paul Mellon, Image© 2004 Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.