Fernand Leger, Visage a une main sur fond ocre (Face with One Hand on Ocher Background)


Fernand Léger Face with One Hand on Ocher Background (Visage a une main sur fond ocre)

Signed Fernand Leger Ceramic, Visage a une main sur fond ocre (Face with One Hand on Ocher Background)

Artist: Fernand Leger (1881 - 1955)

Title: Visage a une main sur fond ocre (Face with One Hand on Ocher Background)

Medium: Low Relief Glazed Ceramic Plaque

Image Size: 17 1/4 in x 12 in (43.8 cm x 30.5 cm)

Edition: Numbered from the edition of 250 on the verso.

Signature: Signed with the initials ‘F.L.’ in the lower right; stamped ‘VISAGE A UNE MAIN fond ocre | Edition à 250 exemplaires d’après la | maquette originale de Fernand LEGER | (exclusivité Musée National F. LEGER BIOT) | Numéro 104/250’ on verso.

Condition: This work is in excellent condition.

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Historical Description of this artwork


A beautiful woman stares straight ahead out of Fernand Léger Visage a une main sur fond ocre (Face with One Hand on Ocher Background), making direct and sustained eye contact with the viewer. Straight away, this is a work of art that interacts with you. The woman, with pale ivory skin and jet black hair stands is framed against an ocher background. The color brings some warmth into an otherwise monochrome scene. Thick, black lines mark the features of the woman’s face. Her eyes are lidded as she sleepily gazes out at us. Her nose is well defined and straight, arching into her eyebrows at the stop, and terminating at her mouth on the other end. Around her neck is hanging a necklace that looks like a bunch of grapes. The circles clump together and hang down heavily in an triangular shape. She raises one hand up to her face as if to beckon us forward towards her.

Léger began creating low relief ceramics in the early 1950’s based on paintings that he had made before then. He made the ceramics with intensely contrasting colors, as we can see on Léger Visage a une main sur fond ocre (Face with One Hand on Ocher Background). He used the color to contrast with the bright white glazed ceramic, and the black lines were added for extra contrast and definition. Because of this technique, Léger’s ceramics stand out boldly and dynamically, and are certain to be an excellent addition to any collection.

Created circa 1950, this low relief glazed ceramic plaque is signed with the initials ‘F.L.’ in the lower right; stamped ‘VISAGE A UNE MAIN fond ocre | Edition à 250 exemplaires d’après la | maquette originale de Fernand LEGER | (exclusivité Musée National F. LEGER BIOT) | Numéro 104/250’ on verso. Numbered from the edition of 250 on verso.

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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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