Fernand Léger (French, 1881-1955)
oil on canvas, Framed: 80.10 x 106.68 x 4.60 cm (31 1/2 x 42 x 1 3/4 inches); Unframed: 65.00 x 92.00 cm (25 9/16 x 36 3/16 inches); Former: 90.48 x 117.16 x 7.00 cm (35 9/16 x 46 1/8 x 2 3/4 inches). Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1981.16
After serving in the French army during World War I, Léger embraced the beauty of modern machinery and dedicated his life to creating art for every social class. He was among the earliest artists to embrace Cubism, but developed it into a personal style by combining abstract, geometric forms with populist subjects that proclaim his optimistic faith in technological progress. The abstract, circular shapes in this painting simulate the movement of a whirling propeller and infuse with composition with dynamic energy.