Despite Léger’s commitment to the modern machine age, his images of monumental female nudes, languishing in closed interiors, are decidedly old-fashioned. Here, a strangely disjointed nude is shown reclining behind two standing figures. Their skirts blend to form a fluted column, a favorite motif of the Purists, used variously as a building, a drinking glass, or drapery folds. Variations on the same composition dominated Léger’s postwar image making. His precise, uniform modeling and use of a drawing compass and ruler were techniques that denied the individuality of the artist’s hand in favor of standardized application.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower right): FL / 22
the artist, Paris (1922–27; sold on November 26, 1927, for Fr 1,000, to Rosenberg); [Galerie L’Effort Moderne (Léonce Rosenberg), Paris, 1927–late 1920s; inv. no. 8923; sold in late 1920s to Berg, in partial exchange for a sculpture by Berg]; Christian Berg, Paris (late 1920s–d. 1976); his son, Thorwald Berg, Stockholm (1976–84; sold in 1984 to Galerie Bel’Art); [Galerie Bel’Art, Stockholm, 1984; sold in 1984 to Roos]; Fredrik Roos, Malmö (1984–88; sold in November 1988 to Lauder); Leonard A. Lauder, New York (1988–2013; transferred on April 8, 2013 to the Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Trust); The Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Trust, New York (2013–16; gift to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection," October 20, 2014–February 16, 2015, no. 46.
Christian Faerber et al. Konst i svenska hem: Målningar och skulpturer från 1800 till våra dagar. Göteborg, 1942, p. 598, ill., as "Komposition med tre kvinnor".
Sven Sandström, ed. Christian Berg, 1957–67: Miljöer och teman. Stockholm, 1967, ill. p. 15 (on display in the residence of Christian Berg, Förslövsholm).
"Objects Promised to the Museum during the Year 2012–2013." The Metropolitan Museum of Art, One Hundred Forty-third Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013 (2013), p. 46, as "Three Women with Flowers (Trois femmes aux fleurs)".
Carol S. Eliel inCubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection. Ed. Emily Braun and Rebecca Rabinow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2014, pp. 217–21, 320(2)n.17, no. 46, ill. p. 218 (color).
Anna Jozefacka and Luise Mahler inCubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection. Ed. Emily Braun and Rebecca Rabinow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2014, pp. 275–76, fig. 45 (on display in the residence of Christian Berg, Förslövsholm, Sweden, ca. 1967).