Pierre-Amédée Marcel-Béronneau is twenty years old when he enrolls at the Municipal School of Fine Arts in Bordeaux. He meets Jérôme Guillaume Fernand Sabatté with whom he leaves to study in Paris. From 1890 he attended the National School of Decorative Arts, then he was admitted to the studio of Gustave Moreau in 1892. Meritorious student, he is a scholarship recipient and receives, with the support of his master, a grant from his hometown . That same year, he exhibited two paintings at the Salon of the Society of Friends of the Arts of Bordeaux. He won the 1st Grand Prix of Decorative Arts in 1893; the medal in the sketching contest and the first prize of the Atelier, which rewards his entire production, in 1894. The same year, he is first in the Chenavard competition at the Ecole des Beaux-Art. He started at the Salon of French Artists in 1895 and therefore lays the foundations for a double artistic career. On the one hand, a work of academic tendency that corresponds to the expectations of the public allows him to obtain his first orders from the State. On the other hand, he continues to work on a more personal production, on symbolic themes that recall the influence of Moreau and the mysticism of the Rosicrucians, in whose salon he exhibited in 1897. At that time, he shares his workshop with Georges Rouault. The mythical and biblical themes that it illustrates are pretext for the staging of characters of femme fatales and legendary heroines who evolve in captivating ornamented decorations, that Béronneau realizes thanks to a pictorial material cleverly worked. Leda, Sappho, Judith, Gorgon and Salome populate his works as well as the characters victims of their charms. From the end of the first decade of the century the official orders, which until then only rewarded the more traditional works of Béronneau, begin to recognize also his symbolist work. He was named Knight of the Legion of Honor in 1914 and participated in numerous exhibitions abroad such as Stuttgart and Elsener in 1901, London and Saint-Louis in 1904, Montreal in 1909, Ghent in 1913, San Francisco in 1915 and Barcelona and Buenos Aires in 1917. A rare if not unique example in the production of the artist, Les Hiboux is a work in which we can nevertheless find many characteristic elements of the Béronneau symbolist production, diverted and reviewed with astonishing simplicity. Owls, birds of mystery by definition, are perched on the branch of a pine tree above a valley landscape that has barely been sketched. The stars shining in the night give the image a fantastic character that matches the artist’s taste for the supernatural. The symbol is not far from each of the elements that form the image yet a note of humor defuses the mystery and reminds the pastels of Simon Bussy, another student of Moreau that Béronneau certainly attended. The eyes of the nocturnal birds, lit like lighthouses and fixed on the spectator, have a hypnotic and fantastic power emphasized by highly saturated pink-orange shades. The turquoise night and the bluish green branches of the fir tree are in sharp contrast with the natural colors of the landscape and affirm the will of the artist to escape from any realistic objectivity.