Fernand Léger

Fernand Leger

Léger was born in Argentan, Orne, Basse-Normandie, Fernand
Léger initially trained as an architect from 1897–1899
before moving in 1900 to Paris, where he supported himself
as an architectural draftsman. 1902–1903, he enrolled at the
School of Decorative Arts; He began to work seriously as a painter only at the age of 25. In 1909 he moved to Montparnasse and met such leaders of the avant-garde as Archipenko, Lipchitz, Chagall, and Robert Delaunay. His major painting of this period is Nudes in the Forest (1909–10), in which Léger displayed a personal form of Cubism—his critics called it "Tubism" for its emphasis on cylindrical forms—that made no use of the collage technique pioneered by Braque and Picasso. In 1910 he joined with several other artists, including Delaunay, Jacques Villon, Henri Le Fauconnier, Albert Gleizes, Francis Picabia and Marie Laurencin to form an offshoot of the Cubist movement, the Puteaux Group—also called the Section d'Or (The Golden Section). Léger was influenced during this time by Italian Futurism, and his paintings, from then until 1914, became increasingly abstract. Léger's experiences in World War I had a significant effect on his work. Mobilized in August 1914 for service in the French Army, he spent two years at the front in Argonne. He produced many sketches of artillery pieces, airplanes, and fellow soldiers while in the trenches, and painted Soldier with a Pipe (1916) while on furlough. In September 1916 he almost died after a mustard gas attack by
the German troops at Verdun. In December 1919 he married Jeanne-Augustine Lohy, and in 1920 he met Le Corbusier, who would remain a lifelong friend.

picture description

Fernand Léger

Le pas d'acier, Aquarell,

1948, 21,2 x 26,5cm


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