The City (1919) by Fernand Leger

The City - Fernand Leger - 1919

Artwork Information

TitleThe City
ArtistFernand Leger
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions230.5 x 297 cm
Art MovementCubism
Current LocationPhiladelphia Museum of Art

About The City

The artwork titled “The City,” created by renowned artist Fernand Leger in 1919, is an exemplar of the Cubist movement. This oil on canvas masterpiece measures 230.5 by 297 cm and categorizes as a cityscape. “The City” is a part of the permanent collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and showcases the characteristic style of Cubism, which was prominent in the early 20th century.

In observing “The City,” one is immediately struck by the dynamic composition of geometric forms and the interplay of vivid colors. The depiction of the urban landscape is fragmented into a series of flat shapes, which converge in a bustling depiction of urbanity. Despite the absence of a traditional perspective, the composition manages to evoke a sense of depth and the complexity of the metropolitan experience.

The use of sharp lines and overlapping planes suggests the simultaneity of different views and elements within a city, such as buildings, streets, and public spaces. The colors—ranging from bold reds and blues to subtler greens and yellows—are strategically placed to create a lively rhythm throughout the artwork. The result is a vibrant and pulsating representation of the modern city, capturing the essence of its architecture, movements, and the spirit of industrial advancement characteristic of the time.

Fernand Leger’s “The City” is an iconic work that reflects the artist’s fascination with modernity and mechanical objects, as well as his endeavor to depict the complexity of contemporary life through a unique visual language derived from Cubism.

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