Joseph Fernand Henri Léger (February 4, 1881 – August 17, 1955) was a French painter, sculptor, and filmmaker. Carl Van Vechten ( June 17, 1880 &ndash December 21, 1964) was an American Writer and Photographer who was a Events 211 - Roman Emperor Septimius Severus dies leaving the Roman Empire in the hands of his two quarrelsome sons Year 1881 ( MDCCCLXXXI) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Events 986 - A Byzantine army was destroyed in the pass of Trajan's Gate by the Bulgarians under the Comitopuli Year 1955 ( MCMLV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays the 1955 Gregorian calendar) This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics.
Léger was born in the Argentan, Orne, Basse-Normandie, where his father raised cattle. Argentan is a commune, and the capital of two cantons and of an arrondissement of the Orne department in northwestern France Orne is a department in the northwest of France named after the Orne River. Basse-Normandie ('Lower Normandy' is an administrative region of France. Fernand Leger initially trained as an architect from 1897-1899 before moving in 1900 to Paris, where he supported himself as an architectural draftsman. Paris (ˈpærɨs in English; in French) is the Capital of France and the country's largest city After military service in Versailles in 1902-1903, he enrolled at the School of Decorative Arts; he also applied to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts but was rejected. Versailles (vɛʀsaj in French) formerly de facto capital of the kingdom of France, is now a wealthy suburb of Paris and is still an important École des Beaux-Arts ("School of Fine Arts" refers to a number of influential Art schools in France. He nevertheless attended the Beaux-Arts as a non-enrolled student, spending what he described as "three empty and useless years" studying with Gérôme and others, while also studying at the Académie Julian. Jean-Léon Gérôme ( May 11, 1824 – January 10, 1904) was a French painter and sculptor in the style The Académie Julian was an Art school in Paris, France. Rodolphe Julian established the Académie Julian in 1868 at the Passage  He began to work seriously as a painter only at the age of 25. At this point his work showed the influence of Impressionism, as seen in Le Jardin de ma mère (My Mother's Garden) of 1905, one of the few paintings from this period that he did not later destroy. Impressionism was a 19th-century Art movement that began as a loose association of Paris -based Artists exhibiting their art publicly in the 1860s A new emphasis on drawing and geometry appeared in Léger's work after he saw the Cézanne retrospective at the Salon d'Automne in 1907. In 1903 the first Salon d'Automne (Autumn Salon was organized by Georges Rouault, André Derain, Henri Matisse and Albert Marquet as a 
In 1909 he moved to Montparnasse and met such leaders of the avant-garde as Archipenko, Lipchitz, Chagall, and Robert Delaunay. Year 1909 ( MCMIX) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year starting Montparnasse is an area of Paris, France, on the left bank of the river Seine, centred on the intersection of the Boulevard du Montparnasse Avant-garde (avɑ̃gaʁd in French) means "advance guard" or "vanguard Alexander Porfiryevich Archipenko (also referred to as Olexandr Oleksandr or Aleksandr) ( May 30, 1887 - February 25, 1964) Jacques Lipchitz ( August 22, 1891 - May 16, 1973) was a Cubist sculptor Marc Chagall (מאַרק שאַגאַל&lrm Belarusian: Мойша Захаравіч Шагалаў Mojša Zaharavič Šagałaŭ; Russian: Марк Robert Delaunay ( April 12 1885 — October 25 1941) was a French artist who used orphism, similar to abstraction 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. Cubism was a 20th century Avant-garde Art movement, pioneered by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, that revolutionized European Tubism is a term coined by the art critic Louis Vauxcelles in 1911 to describe the style of French artist Fernand Léger. A collage (From the coller to glue is a work of formal art primarily in the Visual arts, made from an assemblage of different forms thus creating a new whole Georges Braque ( May 13, 1882 &ndash August 31, 1963) was a major 20th century French painter and sculptor Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso (October 25 1881 &ndash April 8 1973 
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). Year 1910 ( MCMX) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year starting Robert Delaunay ( April 12 1885 — October 25 1941) was a French artist who used orphism, similar to abstraction Jacques Villon ( July 31, 1875 - June 9, 1963) was a French Cubist painter and printmaker Albert Gleizes ( December 8, 1881 - June 23, 1953) was a French painter Francis-Marie Martinez Picabia ( January 22, 1879 - November 30, 1953) was a well-known painter and poet born of a French mother and Marie Laurencin ( October 31, 1883 – June 8, 1956) was a French painter and printmaker The Section d'Or ("Golden Section" in French) also known as Groupe de Puteaux or Puteaux Group and based in the Paris suburb of Puteaux The Section d'Or ("Golden Section" in French) also known as Groupe de Puteaux or Puteaux Group and based in the Paris suburb of Puteaux Léger was influenced during this time by Italian Futurism, and his paintings, from then until 1914, became increasingly abstract. Futurism was an Art movement that originated in Italy in the early 20th century Year 1914 ( MCMXIV) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year Abstract art uses a Visual language of form color and line to create a composition which exists independently of visual references to the world Their vocabulary of tubular, conical, and cubed forms are laconically rendered in rough patches of primary colours plus green, black and white, as seen in the series of paintings with the title Contrasting Forms. Primary colors are sets of Colors that can be combined to make a useful range ( Gamut) of colors
Léger's experiences in World War I had a significant effect on his work. World War I (abbreviated WWI; also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the War to End All Mobilized in August 1914 for service in the French Army, he spent two years at the front in Argonne. The French Army, officially the Armée de Terre (Land Army is the land-based component of the French Armed Forces and its largest 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. Year 1916 ( MCMXVI) was a Leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Leap year The sulfur mustards, of which mustard gas ( Bis (2-chloroethyl sulfide is a member are a class of related Cytotoxic, Vesicant Chemical The German Empire is the name commonly used in English to describe Germany from 1871 to 1918 when it was a semi- Constitutional monarchy: beginning with the Unification Verdun (medieval Wirten official name before 1970 Verdun-sur-Meuse) is a city and commune During a period of convalescence in Villepinte he painted The Card Players (1917), a canvas whose robot-like, monstrous figures reflect the ambivalence of his experience of war. Convalescence is the gradual recovery of Health and strength after Illness. As he explained:
. . . I was stunned by the sight of the breech of a 75 millimeter in the sunlight. It was the magic of light on the white metal. That's all it took for me to forget the abstract art of 1912-1913. The crudeness, variety, humor, and downright perfection of certain men around me, their precise sense of utilitarian reality and its application in the midst of the life-and-death drama we were in. . . made me want to paint in slang with all its color and mobility. 
This painting marked the beginning of his "mechanical period", during which the figures and objects he created were characterized by sleekly rendered tubular and machine-like forms. Starting in 1918, he also produced the first paintings in the Disk series, in which disks suggestive of traffic lights figure prominently.  In December 1919 he married Jeanne-Augustine Lohy, and in 1920 he met Le Corbusier, who would remain a lifelong friend. Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, who chose to be known as Le Corbusier ( October 6, 1887 – August 27, 1965) was a Swiss
The "mechanical" works Léger painted in the 1920s, in their formal clarity as well as in their subject matter—the mother and child, the female nude, figures in an ordered landscape—are typical of the postwar "return to order" in the arts, and link him to the tradition of French figurative painting represented by Poussin and Corot. The Art Institute of Chicago is one of America's premier Fine art museums Nicolas Poussin (15 June 1594 – 19 November 1665 was a French painter in the classical style Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot ( July 17, 1796 &ndash February 22, 1875) was a French landscape painter and Printmaker  In his paysages animés (animated landscapes) of 1921, figures and animals exist harmoniously in landscapes made up of streamlined forms. The frontal compositions, firm contours, and smoothly blended colors of these paintings frequently recall the works of Henri Rousseau, an artist Léger greatly admired and whom he had met in 1909. Henri Julien Félix Rousseau ( May 21, 1844 &ndash September 2, 1910) was a French Post-Impressionist painter in the
They also share traits with the work of Le Corbusier and Amédée Ozenfant who together had founded Purism, a style intended as a rational, mathematically based corrective to the impulsiveness of cubism. Amédée Ozenfant ( 15 April, 1886  &ndash 4 May, 1966) was a French Cubist painter. This article is about an art style There is also another meaning for purism namely Linguistic purism. Combining the classical with the modern, Léger's Nude on a Red Background (1927) depicts a monumental, expressionless woman, machinelike in form and color. His still life compositions from this period are dominated by stable, interlocking rectangular formations in vertical and horizontal orientation. The Siphon of 1924, a still life based on an advertisement in the popular press for the aperitif Campari, represents the high-water mark of the Purist aesthetic in Léger's work.  Its balanced composition and fluted shapes suggestive of classical columns are brought together with a quasi-cinematic close-up of a hand holding a bottle. In Film, Television, and Still photography a close-up tightly frames a person or an object
As an enthusiast of the modern, Léger was greatly attracted to cinema, and for a time he considered giving up painting for filmmaking.  In 1923-24 he designed the set for the laboratory scene in Marcel L'Herbier's L'Inhumaine (The Inhuman One). Marcel L'Herbier, Légion d'honneur, ( April 23 1888 or 1890 &ndash November 26 1979) was a French writer producer and director In 1924, in collaboration with Dudley Murphy, George Antheil, and Man Ray, Léger produced and directed the iconic and Futurism-influenced film, Ballet Mécanique (Mechanical Ballet). Dudley Murphy (July 10 1897 &ndash February 22 1968 Murphy was born on July 10 1897 in Winchester Massachusetts. George Antheil ( July 8, 1900, Trenton New Jersey – February 12, 1959, New York City) was an American Man Ray, born Emmanuel Radnitzky ( August 27 1890 &ndash November 18 1976) in Philadelphia PA and raised Futurism was an Art movement that originated in Italy in the early 20th century Ballet Mécanique (1924 was a project by the American composer George Antheil and the filmmaker/artist Fernand Léger. Neither abstract nor narrative, it is a series of images of a woman's lips and teeth, close-up shots of ordinary objects, and repeated images of human activities and machines in rhythmic movement. 
In collaboration with Amédée Ozenfant he established a free school where he taught from 1924, with Alexandra Exter and Marie Laurencin. Alexandra Ekster or Exter ( Александра Александровна Экстер January 6, 1882 - March 17, 1949) was a He produced the first of his "mural paintings", influenced by Le Corbusier's theories, in 1925. Intended to be incorporated into polychrome architecture, they are among his most abstract paintings, featuring flat areas of color that appear to advance or recede. 
Starting in 1927, the character of Léger's work gradually changed as organic and irregular forms assumed greater importance.  The figural style that emerged in the 1930s is fully displayed in the Two Sisters of 1935, and in several versions of Adam and Eve.  With characteristic humor, he portrayed Adam in a striped bathing suit, or sporting a tattoo. In 1935, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City presented an exhibition of his work. Year 1935 ( MCMXXXV) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA is an art museum located in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, USA, on 53rd Street between Fifth The City of New York
During World War II Léger lived in the United States, where he found inspiration in the novel sight of industrial refuse in the landscape. World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including The United States of America —commonly referred to as the The shock of juxtaposed natural forms and mechanical elements, the "tons of abandoned machines with flowers cropping up from within, and birds perching on top of them" exemplified what he called the "law of contrast".  His enthusiasm for such contrasts resulted in such works as The Tree in the Ladder of 1943-44, and Romantic Landscape of 1946. A major work of 1944, Three Musicians (Museum of Modern Art, New York), reprises a composition of 1930. A folk-like composition reminiscent of Rousseau, it exploits the law of contrasts in its realistic juxtaposition of the three men and their instruments.
Upon his return to France in 1945, he joined the Communist Party. Year 1945 ( MCMXLV) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar A Political party described as a communist party includes those that advocate the application of the social principles of Communism through a communist form of During this period his work became less abstract, and he produced many monumental figure compositions depicting scenes of popular life featuring acrobats, builders, divers, and country outings. Charlotta Kotik has pointed out that Leger's "determination to depict the common man, as well as to create for him, was a result of socialist theories widespread among the avant-garde both before and after World War II. However, Léger's social conscience was not that of a fierce Marxist, but of a passionate humanist[. ]" His varied projects included book illustrations, murals, stained-glass windows, mosaics, polychrome ceramic sculptures, and set and costume designs.
After the death of his wife in 1950, Léger married Nadia Khodossevitch in 1952. In his final years he lectured in Bern, designed mosaics and stained-glass windows for the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas, Venezuela, and painted Country Outing, The Camper, and the series The Big Parade. The city of Berne or Bern (, Berne, Berna, Romansh: Berna, Bernese German: Bärn) is the Bundesstadt ( Federal The Central University of Venezuela (or Universidad Central de Venezuela in Spanish) is a premier public University of Venezuela located Caracas (kaˈɾakas is the Capital and largest city of Venezuela. Venezuela (ˌvɛnəˈzweɪlə) officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (Spanish República Bolivariana de Venezuela) is a country on the In 1954 he began a project for a mosaic for the São Paulo Opera, which he would not live to finish. São Paulo ( is the largest city in Brazil, with its metropolitan area ranking among the largest urban areas in the world Fernand Léger died at his home in 1955 and is buried in Gif-sur-Yvette, Essonne. Gif-sur-Yvette is a commune in the southwestern suburbs of Paris, France. Essonne is a French department in the region of Île-de-France.
Léger wrote in 1945 that "the object in modern painting must become the main character and overthrow the subject. If, in turn, the human form becomes an object, it can considerably liberate possibilities for the modern artist. " As he explained in a 1949 essay, by allowing the object to replace the subject, "we were able to consider the human figure as a plastic value, not as a sentimental value. That is why the human figure has remained willfully inexpressive throughout the evolution of my work".  As the first painter to take as his idiom the imagery of the machine age, and to make the objects of consumer society the subjects of his paintings, Léger has been called a progenitor of Pop Art. Pop Art is a visual Art movement that emerged in the mid 1950s in Britain and in parallel in the late 1950s in the United States. 
He was active as a teacher for many years. Among his pupils were Robert Colescott, Hananiah Harari, Asger Jorn, Beverly Pepper, George L. Robert Colescott ( Robert H Colescott, born in Oakland California, 1925 is an American painter. Hananiah Harari ( August 29, 1912 – July 19, 2000) was an American painter and illustrator Asger Oluf Jorn ( March 3, 1914 - May 1, 1973) was a founding member of the Situationist International, and a prolific artist and essayist Beverly Pepper (born December 20, 1922) is a modern Sculptor, and abstract painter. K. Morris, Victor Reinganum and Charlotte Gilbertson. Victor Reinganum (1907-1995 was an Artist and Illustrator, probably best known for his illustrations on book Dustjackets including the first editions Charlotte Gilbertson (b November 11 1922, Boston Massachusetts) is an American painter and print maker
In 1952, a pair of Léger murals was installed in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations headquarters in New York, New York. Year 1952 ( MCMLII) was a Leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The United Nations Headquarters is a distinctive complex in New York City that has served as the headquarters of the United Nations since its completion in 1950 The City of New York New York ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States and is the nation's third most populous
In 1960, the Musée Fernand Léger was opened in Biot, Alpes-Maritimes,France. Year 1960 ( MCMLX) was a Leap year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Biot is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the région of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur in southeastern France Alpes-Maritimes ( Occitan: Aups Maritims) is a department in the extreme southeast corner of France. This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics.
In November of 2003, his painting, La femme en rouge et vert sold for $22,407,500 United States dollars. The United States dollar ( sign: $; code: USD) is the unit of Currency of the United States; it has also been His sculptures have been selling in excess of 8 million dollars.