Leger, Fernand, Le Cheval sur fond jaune, 1953
Signed Fernand Leger, Ceramic, Le Cheval sur fond jaune, 1953
|Artist:||Leger, Fernand (1881 - 1955), After|
|Title:||Le Cheval sur fond jaune, 1953|
Original Low Relief Glazed Ceramic Plaque
|Image Size:||18 5/16 in x 15 3/8 in (46.5 cm x 39 cm)|
|Framed Size:||approx. 30 in x 27 in (76.2 cm x 68.6 cm)|
|Signed:||Bearing the artist's initials in the lower right corner, this work is signed on the verso by Nadia Léger: 'N. LEGER'.|
|Edition:||This work is numbered 8/250 on the verso, from the limited edition created after the original model by Léger and published by the Musée National F. Léger in Biot.|
|Condition:||This work is in excellent condition, with strong colors and notable lustre.|
Rendered in plain, bold colors Léger's horse meets the viewer's gaze with eyes wide and ears perked. The composition, strong lines and graphic tendencies all speak to his signature style.
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Le Cheval sur fond jaune can be compared to the artist's first ceramic works, completed between 1950-52. In collaboration with master ceramist Roland Brice, Léger created a group of low relief ceramic plaques modeled on his paintings of 1936-38. Yvonne Brunhammer compares this relationship to the partnership between Picasso and Suzanne and Georges Ramié (Brunhammer, 126). Léger eventually mastered the art of ceramics himself, going on to create monumental public installations.
Using a tri-color palette of yellow, black and white, the artist renders his horse in a boldly graphic manner. Wearing bridle and bit, the animal might represent an image of the common worker. A member of the French Communist Party since 1945, Léger made art but kept the common person always in mind; the highest goal, for him, was to produce pieces intelligible to passerby in the streets (Brunhammer 13-14). Marked by true and straight imagery, Le Cheval sur fond jaune embodies these intensely personal - and political - aspirations.
Created in 1953 after the original model by the artist, this original low relief ceramic plaque is made of painted and glazed clay. Bearing the artist's initials 'F.L' in the lower right corner, this piece is numbered 8/250 and signed on the verso by Nadia Léger 'N. LEGER'. Label on the verso reads 'LE CHEVAL sur fond jaune | Edition à 250 exemplaires d'apres la | maquette originale de Fernand LEGER | (exclusivité Musée National F. LEGER_BIOT) | Numéro 8/250.'
Catalogue Raisonné & COA:
A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany this work.
About the Framing:
|Style:||20th Century French Modern Master, pochoir, ceramic and tapestries|
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Biography of Fernand Leger
French painter and designer. From c.1909 he participated in the Cubist movement. He is generally considered one of its major masters but his curvilinear and tubular forms (he was for a time called a 'tubist') contrasted with the fragmented forms preferred by Picasso and Braque. The First World War, during which he was gassed whilst serving as a stretcher-bearer, had a profound effect on Leger. His contact with men of different social classes and different walks of life came as a revelation: 'I was abruptly thrust into a reality which was both blinding and new,' he said. Henceforward he made it his ambition to create an art which should be accessible to all ranks of modem society.
In 1920 he met Le Corbusier and Ozenfant and in the early 1920s he was associated with their Purist movement. His paintings were static, with the precise and polished facture of machinery, and he had a fondness for including representations of mechanical parts.During the late 1920s and 1930s he also painted single objects isolated in space and sometimes blown up to gigantic size, In the inter-war years he expanded his range beyond easel painting, with murals and designs for the theatre and cinema. He was also busy as a teacher, notably at his own school, the Academie de I'Art Contemporain, and he traveled widely, making three visits to the USA in the 1930s. The connections he had made there stood him in good stead when he lived in America. During the Second World War he lived in the USA, teaching at Yale University, and at Mills College, California. Acrobats and cyclists were favorite subjects in his paintings of this time. From his return to France in 1945 his painting reflected more prominentlyhis political interest in the working classes. But its static, monumental style remained, with flat, unmodulated colours, heavy black contours, and a continuing concern with the contrast between cylindrical and rectilinear forms. in his later career Leger worked much on large decorative commissions, notably the windows and tapestries for the church at Audincourt (1951). Many honours came to him late in life, and a museum dedicated to him opened at Biot in France in 1957. In the catalogue of the exhibition Leger and Purist Paris' (Tate Gallery, London, 1970), John Golding wrote of Leger: 'No other major twentieth-century artist was to react to, and to reflect, such a wide range of artistic currents and movements . . . And yet he was to remain supremely independent as an artistic personality. Never at any moment in his career could he be described as a follower ... But his originality lay basically in his ability to adapt the ideas and to a certain extent even the visual discoveries of others to his own ends.' He saw the poetic value that lies in the clear delineation of everyday objects, the in trinsic beauty of modem machinery and the things which are mass-produced by machinery, and he favoured proletarian subjects, depicting them with the same clarity and precision as the themes taken from machine culture.