Fernand Léger The Acrobat and his Partner 1948

Artwork details

Fernand Léger 1881–1955
The Acrobat and his Partner
L'Acrobate et sa partenaire
Date 1948
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1302 x 1626 mm
frame: 1402 x 1727 x 75 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1980
On loan to Fondation Louis Vuitton Pour La Création (Paris, France)

Display caption

Léger was closely involved with the Peace Movement at the height of the Cold War. Together with Picasso, he attended the Communist-sponsored Peace Congress in Poland in August 1948. The Acrobat and his Partner was completed only months before and captures the circus as a symbol of the energy of modern life and popular entertainment. He wrote of this painting: ‘I work less by reflection than by instinct’. He strove to balance ‘the dynamic and the static.’ Here the partner holding the ladder provides the stability for the energetic movement of the acrobat and his disc.

July 2008