Fernand Leger Art Prints

Leger was born in the French countryside to a family of cattle breeders. His parents tried to guide him into architecture, which they thought was a safer career choice than painting. He went instead to Paris and studied painting at the prestigious Academie Julian. By 1911 he had transformed the Cubism of Braque and Picasso into one uniquely his own, based firmly in 20th-century life. Of all the Cubists, he was the most in touch with the "real" world. Leger was not interested in traditional subjects like the still life and the portrait, but instead used the cylindrical forms of machinery and embraced the everyday subjects of mass culture to inspire his canvases. He also used the strong primary colors of modern advertising and posters, rather than the neutral tones of the typical Cubist palette. In the 1920's, with his friends Ozenfant and Le Corbusier, he formed a new post-Cubist movement called Purism. Between 1924 and 1927 he created a colorful series of paintings in praise of everyday objects such as umbrellas, bowler hats, soup plates and most significantly, ball bearings. In his later works, his humanity and warmth are evident in his joyous renditions of everyday people depicted in his great canvases of workers, picnics and circuses.

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