© ADAGP, Paris 2011 © cliché RMN Gérard Blot
La Cocarde, shot-down plane,
gouache and pencil on paper
23 x 29.1 cm
Donated by Nadia Léger and Georges Bauquier
Musée national Fernand Léger Inv. MNFL 96031
War has the power to lay bare the truth of men and objects. After the long and bloody battles, Léger picks out the roundel of a shot-down plane in the mud. Another time the light on the steel cannons reveals to him new plastic effects that reconnect him with life: “… I was dazzled by an open 75 cannon breech in full sunlight, the magic of the light on the white metal… Once I had grasped this reality, the object never left me again.” The gouache or watercolour Léger needed to record these plastic revelations were only rarely available to him – hence the exceptional nature of this polychrome work of art for this period.
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