Fernand Leger: The City

The enormous size and vibrant color of this painting immediately catch the viewer's attention.At approximately (x), Fernand Leger's "The City" is certainly a sight to behold.He used vibrantly tinted planes, solid shapes, and silhouettes that have a machine-like quality. There is billowing smoke that appears from nowhere and stops before escaping the canvas.Pieces of scaffolding are apparent and morph into something that resembles a tic-tac-toe board.Robot-like forms march down stairs that appear out of the overlapping planes.Bits and pieces of billboards, store windows, and buildings overlap creating a sense of chaos and excitement.
In today's modern society, one might think that Leger was trying to represent a society that had become overwhelmed by development.The city is so crowded that not one shape is completely visual.The machine-like people could be read as a negative: man has become robot-like in his actions, or-…However, to full understand the painting, one mustfirst gain an understanding of both the time and place, or culture, in which the artist lived.
Fernand Leger, a Parisian artist, lived in a world that was being rapidly transformed by the Industrial Revolution.He "used color and overlapping planes and forms to represent the new and modern city that was beginning to develop in the twentieth century." The painting represents how someone might view a city when traveling through it and only seeing glimpses of the things around them.There are so many things to see, that everything becomes fragmented and disengaged.His painting was meant to represent a colorful world full of modern technology.


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