Fernand Léger - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session New York Tuesday, May 16, 2023 | Phillips
  • “I organize the opposition between colors, lines, and curves. I set curves against straight lines, patches of color against plastic forms, pure colors against subtly nuanced shades of gray.”
    —Fernand Léger

    Highlighting his iconic style with an emphasis on primary colors and rounded forms, Fernand Léger’s Jeune fille à la branche from 1951 is a masterful example of the artist’s bold iconography. A unique gouache used as inspiration for a later series of lithographs published by Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris, the present work emphasizes Léger’s idiosyncratic method of creating a sense of three-dimensionality within a graphic, flat space. Depicting a woman with dark hair beside thick-stemmed flowers which take up as much space as the portrait, Léger uses collage-like layering and bold, primary colors to create depth. Merging a Cubist visual vocabulary with a more stylized representation of the figure, Jeune fille à la branche emphasizes the artist’s preoccupation late in his career with using rounded, tubular forms, which would become a hallmark of the artist’s legacy.

    • Provenance

      Galerie Chalette, New York
      Private Collection (acquired from the above in 1955)
      Thence by descent to the present owner

Property from a Private American Collection


Jeune fille à la branche

signed with the artist’s initials and dated “F.L. 51” lower right
gouache on paper
27 1/2 x 23 5/8 in. (69.9 x 60 cm)
Executed in 1951, this work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by the Comité Léger, as well as a letter from Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris.

Full Cataloguing

$200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for $228,600

Contact Specialist

Annie Dolan

Specialist, Head of Sale, Morning Session
+1 212 940 1288

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session

New York Auction 16 May 2023