Fernand Legér

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Legér, Fernand


Born Feb. 4, 1881, in Argentan, Normandy; died Aug. 17, 1955, in Gif-sur-Yvette, Normandy. French painter and master of decorative art. Became a member of the French Communist Party in 1945.

From 1903 to 1905, Léger studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Between 1940 and 1945 he lived in the United States. Léger adopted the cubist style in 1909. His cubist works are marked by a dynamic organization of space and by contrasts of pure colors (Nudes in the Forest, 1909–10, Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo; Lady in Blue, 1912, Public Art Collection, Basel). The search for the abstract sculptural expressiveness of color attracted Léger to abstract art, which he later abandoned (in his easel paintings).

In the late teens and throughout the 1920’s, Léger executed terse constructivist compositions, which are distinguished by clear outlines and striking geometric forms and areas of local color. In these works he sought to interpret aesthetically the appearance of the industrial city and to find harmony between man and the modern technological world (The City, 1919, Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Gioconda and Keys, 1930, Musée National Fernand Leger, Biot).

Elements of decorativeness appeared in Léger’s paintings of the 1930’s, 1940’s, and 1950’s; at the same time a clear thematic basis appeared. Central to Léger’s work were the themes of the labor and recreation of workers, which he embodied in monumental, generalized, and cheerful images (The Builders, 1951, Pushkin Museum of Fine Art, Moscow).

Léger’s striving for a synthesis of the arts appeared as early as 1925, when he collaborated with Le Corbusier in the design of the Pavillion de L’Esprit Nouveau. This striving was realized more fully later in his mosaics and stained glass for the churches at Assy (1949) and at Audincourt (1951) and for the University of Caracas (1954), as well as in his murals for the United Nations in New York (1952). Léger’s designs were used in the construction of the Musée National Fernand Léger in Biot (1956–60) and for the stained glass windows in the M. Thorez Institute in Paris (1966) and the House of Cinema in Moscow (1968). He also made ceramics and rugs, illustrated books, and worked for the theater and cinema.


Fonctions de la peinture. [Paris] 1970.


Zhadova, L. Fernan Lezhe [Album]. Moscow, 1970.
Descargues, P. Fernand Léger. Paris, 1955.
Hommage à Fernand Léger. Paris, 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Most of the female members of Cercle et carre were associated with the Academie Moderne, with Fernand Leger and Amedee Ozenfant (19) ; and Szmuszkowicz and Idelson had attended the stage design lessons given there by Exter.
Fernand Leger. New York: Abbeville Publishers; 1982.
El tercer << maestro >>, y tambien ultimo por decision de la propia pintora, fue Fernand Leger (23).
The place of celebration of Leger's life work, Musee National Fernand Leger, is located in Biot in Provence, not far from Nice, in a typical simple modernist building (9).
Bourgeois studied mathematics and philosophy at the Sorbonne before deciding to study art at various academies and ateliers in Paris, including that of artist Fernand Leger.
As did fellow exhibit subjects Fernand Leger, Auguste Rodin, Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso and Alexandra Exter.
Other works on display are by Edouard Manet, Fernand Leger, Alan Shields and Dan Flavin.
Tehran's Contemporary Arts Museum now hosts an exhibition called Manifestations of the World's Contemporary Arts, which displays over 120 paintings, sculptures, illustrations and installations by famous international artists such as Henry Moore, Kamil Jacob Pissarro, Morris Louis, Dan Flavin, Alan Shields, Fernand Leger and Edouard Manet.
5 Fernand Leger's Still Life with Candlestick is another cubist masterpiece.
1 Where did Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, George Braque, Amedeo Modigliani and Fernand Leger go missing?
The other paintings stolen were "L'olivier pres de l'Estaque" (Olive Tree near Estaque) by Georges Braque; "La femme a l'eventail" (Woman with a Fan) by Amedeo Modigliani; and "Nature-mort aux chandeliers" (Still Life with Chandeliers) by Fernand Leger.