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Fernand Léger Paintings

French, 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.

Find a collection of original Fernand Léger art today on 1stDibs.

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Artist: Fernand Léger
Fernand Léger 'Mandoline et pommes' 1938
By Fernand Léger
Located in Miami, FL
FERNAND LEGER (1881–1955) Gouache paint on paper, signed with the artist's initials F.L and dated 1938.
Category

1930s Fernand Léger Paintings

Materials

Gouache

Statuette au Vase Jaune, painting by Fernand Leger c.1949
By Fernand Léger
Located in Long Island City, NY
Artist: Fernand Leger, French (1881 - 1955) Title: Statuette au Vase Jaune Year: circa 1949 Medium: Gouache on Paper, dedicated (a Nicole) l.r. Size: 5 x 5 ...
Category

1940s Modern Fernand Léger Paintings

Materials

Gouache

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Fernand Léger paintings for sale on 1stDibs.

Find a wide variety of authentic Fernand Léger paintings available for sale on 1stDibs. You can also browse by medium to find art by Fernand Léger in gouache, paint, watercolor and more. Much of the original work by this artist or collective was created during the 1940s and is mostly associated with the modern style. Not every interior allows for large Fernand Léger paintings, so small editions measuring 17 inches across are available. Customers who are interested in this artist might also find the work of Louis Toffoli, André Brasilier, and Jean Dufy.

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