Fernand Léger
Playing Card and Pipe 1928

Artwork details

Fernand Léger 1881–1955
Playing Card and Pipe
Carte et pipe
Date 1928
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 600 x 918 mm
frame: 842 x 1166 x 74 mm
Acquisition Presented by Mrs Fanny Wadsworth 1951
Not on display

Display caption

Playing cards and clay pipes had been common elements in Cubist still life paintings of the period circa 1910-14. They introduced a measure of easy legibility, as well as a note of simple domesticity, into these 'difficult' works. In incorporating a playing card and pipe in this painting Léger seems to have been alluding to the earlier avant-garde movement. However, he chose to combine them with types of imagery that were antithetical to Cubism: organic nature (the leaves) and abstraction (the geometric and irregular shapes). In this period he was concerned above all with synthesising different styles of contemporary modernist painting.

August 2004

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