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Fernand Leger (1881-1955)
Fernand Leger (1881-1955)

Profil et perroquet

Fernand Leger (1881-1955)
Profil et perroquet
signed with initials and dated 'F.L. 40' (lower right)
gouache and brush and pen and India ink on paper
21 7/8 x 15 in. (55.6 x 38 cm.)
Executed in 1940
Alma Morgenthau Werthheim, New York.
Anne Wertheim Werner, New York (by descent from the above, 1953); Estate sale, Christie's, New York, 14 November 1996, lot 347.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owners.

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Lot Essay

In 1935-1939 Léger painted Composition aux deux perroquets (Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris), his largest canvas, and one to which he attached great importance, for in it he established his late manner of depicting figures in space. The parrots and two dark-skinned women contribute an exotic atmosphere to the composition, a theme that Léger explored into the 1940s.

The first recorded owner of this work is Alma Morgenthau Wertheim, a daughter of financier and ambassador Henry Morgenthau, and a significant underwriter of composers and new-music organizations. Morgenthau married the American investment banker and philanthropist Maurice Wetherim, in 1912, whose renowned collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist work was bequeathed to the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University.

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