February 04, 1881. Joseph Fernand Henri Léger (February 4, 1881 - August 17, 1955) was a French painter, sculptor, and filmmaker. In his early works he created a personal form of cubism which he gradually modified into a more figurative, populist style. His boldly simplified treatment of modern subject matter has caused him to be regarded as a forerunner of pop art. In this image: Fernand Leger, Deux femmes tenant des fleurs, 1954. Oil on canvas, 21 1/2 x 25 1/2 inches.
|Fernand Léger, 1916, Soldier with a pipe (Le Soldat à la Pipe), oil on canvas, 130 × 97 cm, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dùsseldorf|
|Still Life with a Beer Mug, 1921, oil on canvas, Tate, London|
|La femme et l'enfant (Mother and Child), 1922, oil on canvas, 171.2 x 240.9 cm, Kunstmuseum Basel|
Not just a painter, his prolific works include set designs, book illustrations, murals, stained glass windows, mosaics, and ceramic sculptures. In 1931, he was invited to the United States to decorate the apartment of Nelson Rockefeller in New York City, where he fell in love with the harsh city landscape. He lived in the United States during World War II, returning to France after the war in 1945, and joining the communist party. He died ten years later.
The first painter to make the products of the consumer age a formative influence on his paintings, he is considered the father of modern Pop Art, and his paintings have sold for as much as $22 million.
Leger at the Tate here