oil on canvas
54,3 x 65 cm (21 3/8 x 25 1/2 in.)
signed and dated lower right verso signed, dated and titled
Fernand Léger painted Deux femmes tenant des fleurs in his studio in Gif-sur-Yvette in 1954, picking up on a subject that can be found again and again in his painterly work. In his composition, he placed the image-defining couple of two female nudes in spatial relationship with one another in such a way that he was able to explore the interaction of the figurative forms with space and color. Such couples are often accompanied by a prop, such as the flower here, which adds a center or accent to the overall composition. In stylistic view, the two female figures are – with their strongly outlined limbs, the barely modulated inner color and the strong contrast due to the dominant red of the background – a continuation of Léger's mechanistic-looking, but nevertheless classic figures from the 1920s. The painting is a combination of constructivism through the almost two-dimensional background, and classicism, which is clearly expressed in the massive forms of the two bodies. Léger also combines this with surrealism, considering the contortion of the limbs and the body as a whole or the irritatingly hermetically depicted object of the flower. Deux femmes tenant des fleurs was painted the year before Léger's death - due to all the above-mentioned properties, it is definitely a quintessence of Fernand Léger's painterly work.