London, Leicester Galleries, Artists of Fame and Promise, July - August 1959, cat. no. 34
Located on the Larzac plateau in the South of France, the medieval fortified town of La Couvertoirade was built by the Knights Templar between the 12th and 13th centuries under the instruction of the Commandery of Sainte-Eulalie. The curtain wall was a later addition, having been constructed
between 1439 and 1450 by the Knights of St John of Jerusalem, following the dissolution of the Templars in 1312.
Between 1955 and 1962, and then often afterwards, Piper took yearly summer trips to rural France with his family. As David Fraser-Jenkins has described these excursions:
'Early in the morning they would leave in the large Citroën, the children on the back seat, and get as far as possible each day until they reached some sketching area chosen in advance, usually renting somewhere to stay. Piper prepared each trip in detail, knowing what he wanted to look at, and took with him the France Inconnue guidebooks by Georges Pillement, which listed villages with good churches, and which he could read in French' (David Fraser-Jenkins and Hugh Fowler-Wright, The Art of John Piper, Unicorn Press, 2015, p. 295).
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