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Fernand LEGER

(1881 - 1955)


French painter, tapestry and stained glass creator, decorator, ceramist, sculptor, designer, illustrator, born on 4 February 1881 in Argentan (Orne) and died  17 August, 1955, in Gif-sur-Yvette (Essonne).

The collaboration between Fernand Léger and Aimé Maeght began in May 1949 with the exhibition "Abstract Art" held at the Galerie Maeght in Paris by Andry-Farcy, curator of the Museum of Grenoble and Michel Seuphor.  It was Fernand Léger who encouraged Marguerite and Aimé Maeght to take a trip to the United States after the death of their son Bernard to help them overcome their grief. They visited US foundations such as the Barnes, the Philips and the Guggenheim. The desire to create a place where they could house their collection and offer their artist friends a place where they could work together and exchange ideas gradually began to take shape.

"If you do that, I’ll bring you my painting. I will even paint the rocks", said Fernand Léger to Aimé Maeght.

"Georges Bauquier who accompanied Fernand Léger’s adventure reminded me of a special moment that my parents and their painter friend shared together. Aimé and Marguerite Maeght made a decisive visit to Léger’s place; their eyes were able to see what other visitors had ignored: Léger’s large paintings, impossible to sell in every respect for their size and their unusual subjects.  These paintings were called La Partie de campagne, La Grande Parade, Le Campeur and today they hang on the walls of the Maeght Foundation, the Guggenheim Museum ... The painter's hands had met a point of view, a point of view that only sought excellence and was not encumbered by the desire to sell or by changing fashions.” says Adrien Maeght, President of the Maeght Foundation.

Three painted versions of La Partie de Campagne exist. The final version painted in 1954, one year before the death of the artist, is at the Maeght Foundation. Three versions, three different ways of painting the same subject, three variations on a theme that was dear to him.  For La Partie de Campagne is above all an ode to the paid vacation.

on Maeght. Trois versions, trois manières différentes de peindre le même sujet, trois variations sur un thème qui lui était cher. Car La Partie de Campagne est avant tout une ode aux congés payés.

Partie de campagnePartie de campagneSans titre
Partie de campagne, 1954

Huile sur toile
245 x 301 cm

Trois versions peintes de La Partie de Campagne existent. La version définitive, peinte en 1954, soit un an avant la mort de l’artiste, est conservée à la Fondation Maeght. Trois versions, trois manières différentes de peindre le même sujet, trois variations sur un thème qui lui était cher. Car La Partie de Campagne est avant tout une ode aux congés payés.
Sans titre, 1955

Bronze
42 x 35 cm