In this area of southern France, we noticed small tower-like structures that sat alone, apart from the other buildings on the farmland. These were the "pigeonniers", or pigeon houses. Apparently the tower formation is a feudal symbol of nobility, and at one time, only the nobles could have pigeonniers on their land. It seemed a little odd to have such a beautifully made and permanent stone structure just to house some pigeons, but the birds were quite important in this society. Their eggs and young are prized for the meat, their droppings used for excellent fertilizer on the farm, and of course, they were used as messenger birds since antiquity, and even up until World War II. There are also tons of stones and rocks in the earth, so it makes sense to use themÂ towards these structures and clear the land for farming.
This pigeonnier was just down the street from Le Vieux Couvent, and I found it to be most beautiful in the early light of morning or in the golden light of dusk. I painted this one late in the afternoon just as the sky was starting to take on that warm glow:
"Le Pigeonnier" Oil on Multimedia Artboard, 6x12"