The Smoker

Fernand Léger French

Not on view

For Léger, smoke and smokers were symbols of modern industrial life and the working class, with whom he closely identified. The smoker’s face is seen in three-quarter view. His head is turned to the left (the back of it is represented by the elongated half-oval shape at upper center), and his red pipe juts out, with puffs of smoke floating up to the upper left corner. The figure’s massive body is a conglomeration of rotund swirling parts. This is the type of painting that led Parisian critic Guillaume Apollinaire to characterize Léger’s work as “cylindrical painting.”

The Smoker, Fernand Léger (French, Argentan 1881–1955 Gif-sur-Yvette), Oil on canvas

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