The Domaine des Besses

Description

This house, which already appears on a cadastral plan of 1694, belonged at the end of the 18th century to the Grand Bailiff of Valais, Jacques Valentin Sigristen. In 1808, it was acquired by J.-F Testaz, then passed on by inheritance to his daughters and their children - including the painter Louis-Auguste Veillon (1834-1890), who had established himself in Geneva where he had acquired an international reputation. One of Veillon's sons bought the house from his brothers and sister in 1901. The property remains today the holiday home of the painter's descendants.

Some of the owners of Les Besses were well-known personalities. Thus, at the end of the 18th century, the house belonged to Jacques Valentin Sigristen (1733-1808), Grand Bailiff of the Valais from 1790 to 1798 and responsible for controlling the territory of the Lower Valais subject to the authority of the Upper Valais. When the Pays de Vaud revolted against the Bernese in 1797, the Lower Valais followed suit and challenged the domination of the Upper Valais. On 22 February 1798, the Grand Bailiff Sigristen had to sign an act renouncing the sovereignty of the Upper Valais. While St-Maurice and Monthey planted their "trees of liberty", the Grand Bailiff perhaps temporarily left his house in Les Besses. On Sigristen's death, the property reverted to his heirs who sold it. In the 19th century, the Veillon family owned the estate. The painter Louis-Auguste Veillon (1834-1890), son of the village notary, was born here. He was introduced to painting in the studio of the Genevan François Diday in 1857-1858. L.-A. Veillon completed his training in Paris, London and Rome, then settled in Geneva in 1863. He exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1870. In 1873, he discovered southern Italy and Egypt; in the years 1880-1885, he made several trips to North Africa, the Near East, Greece and Turkey, which inspired him to paint the oriental landscapes that are a characteristic of his work. He presented some oriental paintings at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1889, alongside Swiss landscapes. He died of an influenza epidemic in 1890, but his posthumous success was crowned by a major retrospective exhibition in 1890, which was shown in the most important cities in Switzerland. Despite his numerous trips abroad and his residence in Geneva, L.-A. Veillon always kept an attachment to Les Besses: his brother Jules, a farmer in Bex, used to send him chestnuts from the forest of Les Besses every year and the painter regularly returned there for holidays. From 1878 onwards, the house at Les Besses was never lived in again. After the death of the painter Veillon, the Besses countryside passed to his five children. The land was rented to the farmers of Châtel. Since 1934, the house and the property have become a Société Anonyme (SA), whose shares are held exclusively by members of the Veillon family. Sources : About the Grand Bailli Sigristen: https://vslibre.wordpress.com/tag/jacques-valentin-sigristen/ On the painter Veillon : L. Langer: ""I am staying in the country of the sultanas". Les voyages orientaux de Louis Auguste Veillon (1834-1890)", Revue historique du Mandement de Bex, 32, 1999, supplement. M.-H. Miauton, M. Rochet: "Auguste Veillon. Des barques du Léman aux felouques du Nil", 203 p. 2016, Ed. Favre.

Private property.

This house, which already appears on a cadastral plan of 1694, belonged at the end of the 18th century to the Grand Bailiff of Valais, Jacques Valentin Sigristen. In 1808, it was acquired by J.-F Testaz, then passed on by inheritance to his daughters and their children - including the painter Louis-Auguste Veillon (1834-1890), who had established himself in Geneva where he had acquired an international reputation. One of Veillon's sons bought the house from his brothers and sister in 1901. The property remains today the holiday home of the painter's descendants.

Some of the owners of Les Besses were well-known personalities. Thus, at the end of the 18th century, the house belonged to Jacques Valentin Sigristen (1733-1808), Grand Bailiff of the Valais from 1790 to 1798 and responsible for controlling the territory of the Lower Valais subject to the authority of the Upper Valais. When the Pays de Vaud revolted against the Bernese in 1797, the Lower Valais followed suit and challenged the domination of the Upper Valais. On 22 February 1798, the Grand Bailiff Sigristen had to sign an act renouncing the sovereignty of the Upper Valais. While St-Maurice and Monthey planted their "trees of liberty", the Grand Bailiff perhaps temporarily left his house in Les Besses. On Sigristen's death, the property reverted to his heirs who sold it. In the 19th century, the Veillon family owned the estate. The painter Louis-Auguste Veillon (1834-1890), son of the village notary, was born here. He was introduced to painting in the studio of the Genevan François Diday in 1857-1858. L.-A. Veillon completed his training in Paris, London and Rome, then settled in Geneva in 1863. He exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1870. In 1873, he discovered southern Italy and Egypt; in the years 1880-1885, he made several trips to North Africa, the Near East, Greece and Turkey, which inspired him to paint the oriental landscapes that are a characteristic of his work. He presented some oriental paintings at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1889, alongside Swiss landscapes. He died of an influenza epidemic in 1890, but his posthumous success was crowned by a major retrospective exhibition in 1890, which was shown in the most important cities in Switzerland. Despite his numerous trips abroad and his residence in Geneva, L.-A. Veillon always kept an attachment to Les Besses: his brother Jules, a farmer in Bex, used to send him chestnuts from the forest of Les Besses every year and the painter regularly returned there for holidays. From 1878 onwards, the house at Les Besses was never lived in again. After the death of the painter Veillon, the Besses countryside passed to his five children. The land was rented to the farmers of Châtel. Since 1934, the house and the property have become a Société Anonyme (SA), whose shares are held exclusively by members of the Veillon family. Sources : About the Grand Bailli Sigristen: https://vslibre.wordpress.com/tag/jacques-valentin-sigristen/ On the painter Veillon : L. Langer: ""I am staying in the country of the sultanas". Les voyages orientaux de Louis Auguste Veillon (1834-1890)", Revue historique du Mandement de Bex, 32, 1999, supplement. M.-H. Miauton, M. Rochet: "Auguste Veillon. Des barques du Léman aux felouques du Nil", 203 p. 2016, Ed. Favre.

Private property.

Location
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