Fernand Léger's landscapes
Drawings from the museum's collection
After the "Léger and the Cinema" exhibition, the works are back on the walls of the Fernand Léger National Museum! Paintings, drawings, ceramics and tapestries will be presented according to a new thematic display, focusing on the landscape in the work of Fernand Léger (1881-1955). This exhibition is also an opportunity to present for the first time some of the museum's recent acquisitions, a collection that is regularly enriched.
In October 1954, Léger and his friend, the poet Blaise Cendrars, met at the Galerie Louis Carré to record a cross-conversation on the occasion of the exhibition "Le Paysage dans l'œuvre de Fernand Léger". Based on this rare document, the exhibition explores the way in which this theme nourished the painter's plastic research throughout his life.
From the very beginning, Fernand Léger challenged and questioned the traditional genres of painting. He never ceased to practice the landscape, with which he developed an ambivalent relationship, between the heritage of pictorial tradition and the quest for modernity. Léger freed the landscape from its classical definition: he sought to renew it by introducing fragments of modernity - urban or industrial signs - observed in his immediate environment. Through the use of abstract forms, flat colours and typographic signs, he reflected the increasing industrialisation of the French countryside and the geometry of American cities.
Alongside his fascination with the emergence of the modern city, Léger remained attached to natural elements and the representation of a certain rurality. The landscapes reminded him nostalgically of the Normandy farm of his childhood, while his stays in the countryside of Rouses Point, during his exile in the United States, inspired him to create a new repertoire of forms, the starting point for his American Landscapes series. In contact with nature, Léger selected elements - branches, roots, flowers - which he sometimes captured on the spot, in the manner of the Impressionists. Isolated, seen in close-up, fragmented or recomposed, they acquire an artistic value because Léger endeavours to emphasise their formal beauty.
Fernand Léger also created monumental works in the public space in which he literally invested the landscape. In the theatre, the landscape becomes a "mobile set", while in architecture, Léger's colourful and contrasting compositions contribute to shaping the 20th century landscape. The façades of the museum, with their bright colours that permeate the Mediterranean nature, are a living testimony to this.
Fernand Léger, Des lettres dans le paysage, 1953, published in Entretien de Fernand Léger avec Blaise Cendrars et Louis Carré sur le paysage dans l'œuvre de Léger, catalogue of the exhibition "Le Paysage dans l'œuvre de Fernand Léger" (Paris, Galerie Louis Carré, 19 November - 31 December 1954), Paris, Louis Carré, 1956. Lithograph, 27 x 38 cm. Musée national Fernand Léger, Biot © ADAGP, Paris, 2022.
Exhibition open every day except Tuesdays and May 1st.
from May 1st to October 31st: from 10 am to 6 pm
1 November to 30 April: 10am to 5pm.
Ticket sales stop 30 minutes before the museum closes.
The entrance ticket includes access to the permanent collection and a multilingual audio guide.
Exhibition rates :
Full price: 7.50 €
Reduced rate: 6 €
Group rate (minimum 10 people): 7 € per person