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    Description

    FERNAND LÉGER (French, 1881-1955)
    Les Femmes au Perroquet (Women and Parrot), 1952
    Partially glazed ceramic (Céramique émaillée)
    16-1/4 x 13-1/4 x 3 inches (41.3 x 33.7 x 7.6 cm)
    Initialed and dated lower right: 52 / F.L
    Signed and dated verso: F.Leger / 52

    PROVENANCE:
    Galerie Louis Carré & Co., Paris (label on the reverse of the wooden stand and the relief);
    Ader, Picard, Tajan, L'Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 1979;
    Private collection, California.

    Executed in 1952 during the artist's lifetime, this partially glazed white clay relief sculpture is a unique work which belongs to a group of similarly themed ceramics and bronzes by Léger treating the subject of women with parrots. During the years 1952 and 1953, Léger produced a series of unique clay reliefs that explore this subject, varying the arrangement of motifs themselves, their scale, and the patterns and colors used in the glazing. The present relief is an early exploration of the theme and its general composition, which provided a model for the artist's larger, mural-sized Les Femmes au Perroquet reliefs, which he designed in several parts.

    The inspiration for this relief and its related works was a painting of Les Femmes au Perroquet that Léger produced during his American period (while he was in exile during World War II). In the early 1950s, when Léger became increasingly interested in working with three-dimensional material--particularly clay, glass, and metal--he returned to some of the subjects he had explored initially in his paintings. As early as 1937, Léger had felt compelled to create murals and mosaics, which he believed would help enliven urban architecture with energetic patterns, and particularly color--a crucial visual element he felt cities sorely lacked. During the 1950s, he invested his artistic energies in making such social improvements a reality.

    A recent groundbreaking exhibition exploring the artist's work in ceramics entitled "Fernand Léger et la céramique" (March 25 through July 2, 2000), Musée National Fernand Léger, Biot, included several sketches, gouaches, and ceramic reliefs related to the present sculpture.

    The provenance of this relief can be traced to Léger's dealer, Galerie Louis Carré & Co., Paris.




    Condition Report*: The relief is in pristine original condition with a couple of minor firing cracks in the enamel and slight discoloration due to general soiling.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 4,750

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

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