Fernand Léger (France, 1881-1955)

A painter as well as a filmmaker, illustrator, stage-set designer, ceramicist and printmaker, Fernand Léger was one of the most prolific artists of the first half of the 20th century. His early mature work as a Cubist was marked by the use of bold colors and contrasts and a visual vocabulary inspired by industrial technology. In his later career, Léger turned to idiomatic, almost naïve depictions of human figures, in a belief that his work should be accessible to ordinary people and relevant to their lives.

     Born in Normandy, the son of a cattle trader, Léger worked as an architectural draftsman in Paris while studying art. By 1908 he was a member of an artistic circle that included Marc Chagall, Robert Delaunay, sculptor Jacques Lipchitz, and the poet Guillaume Appolinaire, and through them he became connected to the Cubists. As opposed to the flat planes and neutral hues seen in the paintings of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, Léger’s Cubist abstractions were devised with vivid colors and forms that had dimensionality. Soon after his army service in World War I — he was gassed at the Battle of Verdun — Léger entered his “mechanical” period. Convinced that technology would improve the human condition, he painted compositions of tubular shapes and cylinders that are reminiscent of machine parts. In other work, Léger sought to capture the bustle and brio of modern life with references to railroad stations, factories, street signs and billboards.

     Léger had also emerged from the trenches with a deep concern to make his art engage the sorts of men and women he had met during the war. He sought to bring his work to a wider audience through film, theater sets and book illustrations. In the 1920s, influenced by Purism — a variant on Cubism that promoted a simpler and more direct approach to forms and compositions — Léger produced a series of paintings depicting everyday objects: a soda siphon, an accordion, a guitar and vase. The human figure returned to his work. By 1930, pure abstraction disappeared almost completely from Léger’s art in favor of simple studies of people. Their boldly outlined forms, placed against a bright background, can be regarded as an assemblage of parts — yet in these representations of dancers, acrobats and folks on bicycles, Léger seems to be articulating a kind of kinship and affection. You will see from the works on offer why Fernand Léger is often regarded as the warmest and most humane of the great modern artists.

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Projet de Camouflage de la Tour Eiffel Silhoutte Nocturne
Projet de Camouflage de la Tour Eiffel Silhoutte N...
Fernand Léger
1930s Modern Abstract Drawings and Watercolors
Paper, Gouache
A gouache by Modern artist Fernand Leger. "Projet de Camouflage de la Tour Eiffel Silhoutte Nocturne" is an abstract, gouache on black paper by Modern artist Fernand Leger. Signed and t...
La Vachere
Fernand Léger
La Vachere
Fernand Léger
1950s Modern Figurative Prints
Lithograph
Signed in ink (faded as is usual for this image) Edition: 75 Provenance: Mr. and Ms. I. B. Rosenbaum, Cincinnati, Ohio Dr. and Ms. Max F. Baer, Washington D.C. Gift to family membe...
Nature Morte
Fernand Léger
Nature Morte
Fernand Léger
1950s Abstract Expressionist Still-life Prints
This typical work form 1951 was executed just a few yers before Leger's death. It is done in very vibrant blues and reds and framed to 29 x 34 inches. It is in the original silver fra...
Composition Mécanique
Fernand Léger
Composition Mécanique
Fernand Léger
20th Century Cubist Abstract Drawings and Watercolors
Ink, Pen, Pencil
Pen, ink and pencil on paper 27.1 x 21.2 cm (10 ¾ x 8 ¼ inches) Signed and dated lower right, F.L. 1918 Provenance Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris Kunsthalle, Basel Saidenberg Gallery, Ne...
Woman Tree
Fernand Léger
Woman Tree
Fernand Léger
20th Century Abstract Abstract Prints
Lithograph
Fernand LEGER 1881-1955 Lithograph Signed in the plate Made under the control of the French Museum BIOT Fernand Léger ( blind stamp ) Limited edition n° 470/500 The photo o...
La Lecture
Fernand Léger
La Lecture
Fernand Léger
1950s Modern Portrait Prints
Lithograph
A color lithograph by Modern artist Fernand Leger. "La Lecture" is executed primarily in beige, black red and blue and depicts a nude woman and a man, both holding books. The man holds ...
Marie l'Acrobate
Fernand Léger
Marie l'Acrobate
Fernand Léger
1940s Modern Portrait Prints
Lithograph
A color lithograph by Modern artist Fernand Leger. "Marie l'Acrobate" is executed primarily in reds, beiges and blues and depicts a woman in a choker necklace. Signed in pencil lower ri...
Pleasant Thoughts for the Morning
Pleasant Thoughts for the Morning
Fernand Léger
1940s Drawings and Watercolor Paintings
Ink, Watercolor
FERNAND LÉGER 1881-1955 Argentan 1881-1955 Paris, Gif-sur-Yvette (French) Title: Pleasant Thoughts for the Morning Bonne Pensée du Matin, from: Les Illuminations, 1948 Technique: Or...
Still Life with Blue Vase or The Table
Still Life with Blue Vase or The Table
Fernand Léger
Mid-20th Century Sculptures
Terracotta
FERNAND LÉGER 1881-1955 Argentan 1881-1955 Paris, Gif-sur-Yvette (French) Title: Still Life with Blue Vase or The Table, 1951 Technique: Hand Painted, Inscribed and Stamped Glazed Te...
Fernand Leger Exhibition poster
Fernand Leger Exhibition poster
Fernand Léger
Mid-20th Century More Prints
Fernand Leger Exhibition poster Musee Galliera, 1969 Unframed Fernand Leger (1881-1955) was an avant garde French artist and filmmaker known for his abstract Cubist and Modernist styl...
 Liberté j’écris ton nom.
Fernand Léger
Liberté j’écris ton nom.
Fernand Léger
1950s Cubist Figurative Prints
Screen Print
Éluard, Paul. Liberté j’écris ton nom. Paris (Seghers), [1953]. Folding broadside (leporello), with continuous color silkscreen by Fernand Léger, integrated with text, extending the f...
La Femme et la Fleur
Fernand Léger
La Femme et la Fleur
Fernand Léger
1950s Modern Portrait Prints
Lithograph
An original color lithograph by modern artist Fernand Leger. Signed in pencil lower right, "F Leger". Numbered in pencil lower left, "63/75." Image: 27 x 21 in. sheet: 29 3/4 x 22 3/8 ...
Profil, Vase et Clef
Fernand Léger
Profil, Vase et Clef
Fernand Léger
1920s Modern Abstract Drawings and Watercolors
Ink, Paper
Profil, Vase et Clef is an abstract, pen & ink on cardstock by modern artist Fernand Leger. Provenance: Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris; Galerie Beyeler, Basel; Galerie Seroussi, P...
Head and Plant
Fernand Léger
Head and Plant
Fernand Léger
1950s Contemporary Still-life Prints
Lithograph
Lithograph titled Head and Plan by Joseph Fernand Henri Leger, signed F.L. in the plate. Leger was a French painter, sculptor, and filmmaker. In his early works he created a personal fo...
Femmes et Enfants a l'Accordeon
Femmes et Enfants a l'Accordeon
Fernand Léger
1950s Modern Portrait Prints
original serigraph image: 18 x 13 3/8 sheet: 21 7/8 x 14 7/8 in. Signed in pencil lower right, “FLeger”. Numbered in pencil lower left, "33/200". "F.L.50.5"1 on lower right corner of...
Mechanical Composition after Fernand Leger
Mechanical Composition after Fernand Leger
Fernand Léger
1950s Modern Abstract Prints
Screen Print
screenprint Signed in pen lower right, “F Leger”. Provenance: Prvate Collection, London
Radio Song
Fernand Léger
Radio Song
Fernand Léger
1950s Cubist Figurative Prints
Presenting an orignal numbered lithograph by French artist Fernand Leger. Originally acquired at an Los Angeles gallery exhibition of Leger's lithography in 1961, this is the first t...