Fernand Leger, Red Bird in the Woods, 1953


Signed Fernand Leger Color aquatint, Red Bird in the Woods, 1953

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Artist:Fernand Leger (1881 - 1955)After

Title:Red Bird in the Woods, 1953

Reference:Saphire E 19

Medium:Color Aquatint

Image Size:25 3/8 in x 18 in (64.5 cm x 45.7 cm)

Sheet Size:30 1/4 in x 22 in (76.8 cm x 55.9 cm)

Framed Size:40 1/4 in x 33 1/4 in (102.2 cm x 84.5 cm)

Edition:Numbered from the edition of 125 in pencil in the lower left margin; published by Lacourière, Paris.

Signature:This work is hand signed by Fernand Léger (Argentan, 1881 – Gif-sur-Yvette, 1955) in ink in the lower right margin.

Condition:This work is in excellent condition.

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Historical Description of this artwork


Fernand Léger Red Bird in the Woods (L’Oiseau rouge dans le Bois) 1953 shows a constructed forest framed on a bold red background. The composition overlaps, creating complex interactions between the different forms, but each is also well defined against the background. The wood, rendered in stark yellow, white and black, pushes towards the blue clouds like organic skyscrapers. The clouds mirror the smoke from factories that is present in other works by Léger. Through them, weaving between, flies a brilliant red bird. Using vibrant and lush colors Léger has created an urban scene composed of natural elements. The resulting contrast is interesting and enchanting.

Léger was fond of combining the industrial and the natural. Unlike some of the other artists at the time who denied modern influence on their works, Léger embraced it – in fact he delighted in the modern meeting the more natural.

Created in 1953 after a gouache, this color aquatint is hand-signed by Fernand Léger (Argentan, 1881 – Gif-sur-Yvette, 1955) in ink in the lower right margin and numbered from the edition of 125 in pencil in the lower left margin; published by Lacourière, Paris.

Catalogue Raisonné & COA:

Fernand Léger Red Bird in the Woods (L’Oiseau rouge dans le Bois), 1953 is fully documented and referenced in the below catalogue raisonnés and texts (copies will be enclosed as added documentation with the invoices that will accompany the sale of the work).

1. Saphire, Lawrence. Fernand Leger: The Complete Graphic Works. Blue Moon Press: 1978. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. E19.

2. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany this artwork.

About the Framing:

Framed to museum-grade, conservation standards, Fernand Léger Red Bird in the Woods (L’Oiseau rouge dans le Bois), 1953 is presented in a complementary moulding and finished with silk-wrapped mats and optical grade Plexiglas.

What Do I Get With My Purchase?

The Certificate of Authenticity accompanies this work, guaranteeing its authenticity for as long as you own it.

All catalogue raisonné and historical documentation is included with your purchase.

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Why Leger?

Fernand Leger's unique Cubism contains its own populist vocabulary. The French artist's monumental figures speak to everyone; his strong color work and graphic sensibility characterize his prints, lithographs, paintings, sculptures and art.

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Artistic Styles of Leger

20th Century French Modern Master, pochoir, ceramic and tapestries

Fernand Leger Complete Biography

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Fernand Leger
Fernand Leger (1881-1955)

Fernand Leger Biography

French painter and designer. From c.1909 Fernand Leger 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. Fernand Leger’s 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 Fernand 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.

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