A leader among l’Esprit Moderne movement that emerged in Paris in the wake of World War I, Fernand Léger sought out opportunities to integrate his paintings with contemporary design and architecture, both in Europe and the United States. In 1938 he was introduced to Nelson Rockefeller, who invited Léger to decorate his Park Avenue apartment. This fireplace mural was installed in Rockefeller’s grand salon, where it faced a similarly shaped mural by Henri Matisse. Taking inspiration from the urban grid and gardens of the recently completed Rockefeller Center, Léger animates his landscape with a vibrant buoyancy, celebrating the modern spirit embodied by New York’s newest landmark.


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Artist
Fernand Léger, French, 1881–1955
Title
Untitled (Fireplace Mural)
Date
1939
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
113 1/8 × 74 1/2 in. (287.3 × 189.2 cm)
Credit Line

Museum purchase funded by the Caroline Wiess Law Accessions Endowment Fund

Current Location
The Audrey Jones Beck Building
227 BECK GALLERIES
Accession Number
2017.296
Classification
Painting
Provenance

Commissioned from the artist by Nelson A. Rockefeller, New York, 1938; received by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1977; released by MoMA, 2016; [Galerie Gmurzynska, Zürich]