Fernand Léger

French , 1881 - 1955

One of the original Cubists, Fernand Léger created one of the most distinctive artistic styles of the 20th century. Born in Normandy and apprenticed to an architect before signing a contract with legendary French art dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, Léger progressed beyond the “machine aesthetic” to celebrate modern urban and technological culture on a heroic scale. He exerted considerable influence on other artists, and besides his paintings, worked in a wide range of media including tapestry, mosaic, graphics and theatre design.

Léger was very active in tapestries from the 1930's on and collaborated with Aubusson weavers to create not only tapestries of his best known works, but also of original cartoons designed specifically for this medium. The Léger family also commissioned or approved of tapestries by ateliers that had worked with the artist during his lifetime, many destined for the Léger Museum at Biot. Leger was also active in ceramics and in 1949 he opened a studio for their creation. Also having worked in printmaking, Léger created prints that are not reproductions of paintings but "multiple originals" created by the artist.
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