Fernand Léger

1881-1955

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Status, estimation and price of the artist Fernand Léger

Price of a painting: 77,000 – 53,000,000 €.

Estimation of a print: 60 – 14,000 €.

Estimate of a drawing: 2,600 – 200,000 €.

Estimation of a sculpture: 5,000 – 30,000 €.

If you would like to have a work Fernand Léger appraised, our experts will take care of everything.

The beginnings of Fernand Léger

Fernand Léger is a famous painter, born in 1881 in Argentan to a father who raised cattle and an extremely pious mother. He first trained as an architect in an office in Caen before moving to Paris in 1900 where he attended the studios of Jean Léon Gérome and Gabriel Ferrier. Léger initially produced Impressionist paintings which he exhibited at the Salon d’Automne. He later discovered Cubism, thanks to an exhibition by gallery owner Henry Kanhweiler, who gave pride of place to the Cubist artists Pablo Picasso and George Braque. Léger himself became a pillar of this avant-garde movement which he developed with his theory of contrasts, opposing straight lines and curved lines, flat surfaces and modelled surfaces, a style which he continued to develop until 1923.

Influence of the Great War and the trade war.

Fernand Léger was enlisted until 1917, the year of his reformation. During a leave of absence in 1916, he painted Soldier with a pipe, evidence of the new influences linked to this struggle for position. His works after 1918 are not an apology for modern industry, as Léger was well aware of its violence. Nevertheless, he recognised the intrinsic beauty of machines and the quantitative competition they could introduce in relation to the production level of artists. He painted canvases about the world of work such as Le typographe (1919) and Le mécanicien (1918-1920). Hewas inspired by the brightly coloured advertising illustrations that he retranscribed in La ville 1919.

Léger also made a film in 1924, Ballet mécanique, which he edited, without a script, as a succession of different shots, thus constituting a visual and non-narrative object. He was also influenced by the proliferation of objects linked to mass production, a phenomenon visible in Composition aux quatre chapeaux (1927).

He even anticipated the hierarchy of images with La Joconde aux clés  (1930), between art and pop culture, which the avant-gardists used much more extensively in the wake up WWII.

It was also around the 1930s that Léger became interested in more trivial iconography. He began to paint old, worn-out clothes such as gloves and trousers. He also took to organic objects such as leaves or stones. Nature thus seems to take over from the machine.

Léger moved onto to making representations of athletic bodies. Then an American period brought about by forced exile from 1940 to 1946 saw Léger representing floating bodies, that were colourful and light in appearance, far from the reality of WWII.

In 1950, he supported the Communist Party and painted one of his most important works, Les constructeurs, which was exhibited by the Maison de la Pensée française the following year.

Fernand Léger died in Gif-sur-Yvette on 17 August 1955.

Recognising Fernand Léger’s signature

Like many artists, Léger did not sign all of his works. However, you will find below an example of the signatures to give you an idea. Variations of these signatures do exist, do not hesitate to contact one of our experts to formally authenticate a signature.

expertise signature leger

Appraising and selling a piece by Fernand Léger

If you own a piece by Fernand Léger or any other object, ask for a free estimate via our online form.

You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your piece. In the context of a possible sale, our specialists will also advise you on the different options available to sell your work at the best price.

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