In this painting, Léger combines several styles of contemporary modernist styles. Playing cards and clay pipes were common elements in Cubist paintings, and Léger places these in the foreground, against a background of geometric shapes – a popular theme in Abstraction – and semi-naturalistic leaves, adding a note of Surrealist composition to the piece.
Playing Card and Pipe
Date of work
Original: Oil paint on canvas 60 x 91.8 cm Tate. Presented by Mrs Fanny Wadsworth 1951 © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2018
French painter and designer Fernand Léger, was born in Agentan, Normandy in 1881. His work encompasses cubist and semi-abstract styles, and in his later years he also worked in design for the stage. Léger also became an active advocate for peace, and in 1948 became a founder-member of the National Council of the World Peace Movement.