Fernand Leger, French,1881-1955.Fernand Léger was born in 1881, the same year both Picasso and Braque were born, in Normandy; his father was a substantial cattle grazer. Fernand was trained as an architectural draughtsman and later worked as a professional retoucher of photographs. He was an abstract painter before the War, in which he had a brilliant record. He had visited the United States twice. In France, he lived in a villa next to some railroad tracks in a Paris suburb, and a farm in Normandy where he raised pigs and made cider.It is often said that Léger was the artist of the machine age, but he was not entirely a man of his time. He knew poverty as a child, was gassed in World War I, had to flee before the invading Nazis in World War II. But there is little of death and destruction in his work. Other men have painted with more passion, few with more exuberance.Léger returned to France at the end of 1945 after spending the war years traveling and lecturing in the United States. There had been three previous visits to America in the 1930s, all entrepreneurial adventures of only modest success. He had resumed his practice of making public appearances to explain his art to a sometimes curious, sometimes bewildered public. In addition, he enjoyed many celebrity encounters, like a holiday with Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, an evening at the theatre with James Joyce and friendships with Ezra Pound and Henry Miller. His paintings sell for up to 37 Million and his paintings are in many museums.