Fernand Léger - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale London Thursday, February 13, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Video

    Fernand Léger, 'Untitled Composition', Lot 195

    20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, 14 February

  • Provenance

    Sara and Gerald Murphy, France (gifted directly by the artist)
    Mrs. William Donnelly (acquired from the above by descent)
    Maxwell Davidson Gallery, New York (acquired from the above in 1982)
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in the early 1980s

  • Exhibited

    New York, The Museum of Modern Art, The Paintings of Gerald Murphy, 9 April – 19 May 1974
    New York, Maxwell Davidson Gallery, Fernand Léger, January - February 1984

  • Literature

    'Photocopies of Léger's sketchbook from his sailing trip with the Murphys in 1934', Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Sara and Gerald Murphy Papers, box 110, folder 1152 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    In the summer of 1934, Léger joined Sara and Gerald Murphy in Antibes on their yacht Weatherbird. Gerald Murphy recalled the trip:

    'During the first day out the sea was smooth and Fernand, who had never been aboard a sailing vessel, was fascinated with the rigging and all the contrivances on board. He had brought a notebook and a few watercolors with him and he spent the entire day making sketches. He had never worked under such conditions and it stimulated him enormously. The second day out the weather turned bad as we encountered Mistral. Very much to his surprise he did not feel the rough sea as he expected and persisted in his work. He made quite a joke of his being able to remain at his post while some of the rest of us were unable to do so. It was for this reason that he wrote on the cover of the notebook, "A Sara et Gerald de leur mousse fidèle [To Sara and Gerald, from their loyal cabin boy".' Gerald Murphy

Property from a Distinguished Private Collection, Florida


Untitled Composition

signed with the artist's initials and dated 'FL 34' lower right
watercolour and graphite on paper
32.1 x 24.1 cm (12 5/8 x 9 1/2 in.)
dimensions as viewed 31.1 x 22.9 cm (12 1/4 x 9 in.)

Executed in 1934.

£15,000 - 20,000 ‡♠

Sold for £18,750

Contact Specialist

Tamila Kerimova
Specialist, Head of Day Sale, Director, 20th Century & Contemporary Art

44 20 7318 4065

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 14 February 2020