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Title

The pigeon loft

1917

Artist

Fred Leist

Australia

1873 – 1945

  • 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
    Location
    Not on display
    Accession number
    843
    Copyright

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Fred Leist

    Works in the collection

    14

    Share
  • 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.

  • Places

    Where the work was made

    France

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

Other works by Fred Leist

See all 14 works