Fernand Léger

Born 1881, Argentan, Normandy

Died 1955, Gif-sur-Yvette, France


1897-99   Works as an architect’s apprentice.

1900   Moves to Paris, working as an architect’s draughtsman and studying at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs and the Académie Julian.

1907   Becomes influenced by Paul Cézanne’s works.

1909   Participates in the Cubist movement; his style embodies semi-abstract Cubist forms. 

1912   One-man exhibition at the Galerie Kahnweiler in Paris.

1914-17   Fights in the French Army; is inspired by the machine forms he sees while in the army.

Post WWI   His paintings become influenced by modern industrial subjects and embody bold oppositions of color.

1920s   Becomes friends with Le Corbusier and Amédée Ozenfant. 

1924   Collaborates on an experimental film, Ballet Mécanique, for which he designs sets and costumes, and creates mural paintings.

1940-45   Seeks refuge in the Unites States during World War II.   His subjects during this time include acrobats and cyclists.

1945   Returns to France.  He spends his final years working on sculpture and designs for ballets. 

1955   Receives the Grand Prix at the Sao Paulo Biennial.