Les Colombières (The Dovecotes) is a villa in Menton on the French Riviera. The extension of the basic house and the gardens of the villa were designed and supervised by caricaturist, illustrator, author and designer Ferdinand Bac between 1920 and 1924. Bac also designed furniture and fittings, for the house and personally painted all the villa's frescos and paintings. The series of interlinked gardens in the former olive grove are 7.4 acres (3.0 ha) in size, each created around a theme of Greek or Latin mythology. In 1925 Bac revealed Les Colombières to the world as a complete work of art that drew on the rich traditions of the Mediterranean. He exhibited at the 1925 Paris Universal Exhibition, and his designs and colours influenced Barragan. At that time Les Colombières was considered to be one of the most important houses and gardens on the Cote d'Azur and was part of the 'circuit' of grand houses and gardens there between the world wars.
Bac's friends Émile and Caroline Ladan-Bockairy had bought the Domaine des Colombières in 1919 from the philosopher Alfred Fouillée. The Ladan-Bockairys invited Bac to rebuild and enlarge the house and design the gardens. Drawing on his memories of travels to the countries around the Mediterranean, Bac created the interior decoration of the villa, the frescos on the walls, the patio inspired by Homer’s Odyssey, as well as the themed landscape design for the seven-hectare estate.
Very near to Menton, in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, you can visit the famous Cap Moderne site with Eileen Gray’s Villa E-1027, Le Corbusier’s Le Cabanon and Unités de Camping, and the Etoile de Mer. Visits by appointment can be booked via www.capmoderne.com.