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Title

The pigeon loft

1917


Artist

Fred Leist

Australia

1873 - 1945


About

Throughout the war, messenger pigeons played a vital role in communications. It is estimated over 100,000 served with the British Forces, their speed and endurance saving countless lives. Pigeons were kept in mobile lofts behind the front line, then taken to the trenches in wicker baskets when needed.

Fred Leist depicts a horse-drawn loft, set within the desolate landscape of the Western Front, with drifts of snow and bare tree trunks highlighting the harsh conditions. The broad strokes of white paint that swathe the foreground accentuate the silhouetted figures of the pigeon handler and the courier about to embark on his motorbike. The delicate, rose-tinted sky and relative stillness of the scene conveys a sense of calm, despite the looming danger of their mission.


Details


Place where the work was made

France


Date

1917


Media category

Painting


Materials used

oil on canvas


Dimensions

63.4 x 76.2 cm stretcher; 82.7 x 95.0 x 5.0 cm frame


Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r. corner, brown oil "LEIST ... 17".


Credit

Purchased 1934


Accession number

843


Artist information

Fred Leist

Works in the collection

14


Place

Where the work was made
France

Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 1 publication

Bibliography


Lionel Lindsay, 150 years of Australian art, Sydney, 1938. cat.no. 204 [Gallery No. 3]