Composition (The Typographer)

Fernand Léger French

Not on view

This painting depicts an anonymous worker standing with his back to the viewer, presumably typesetting the red-and-white letters in front of him. The colorful segmented oval at center is the man’s hat. His ear is represented by a curved, gray, tubelike shape, and his torso is depicted in red at lower center. The dark perimeter of the oversized canvas sets off the dazzling brilliance of the center scene, which in its scale and graphic power emulates the posters and billboards that Léger saw all around him in postwar Paris. Léger made many changes to the composition, likely working on it into 1919, despite the dating on the lower right.

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

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