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About This Artwork
Divers on a Yellow Background, 1941
Oil on canvas© 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
73 1/2 x 85 3/4 in. (186.7 x 217.8 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Maurice E. Culberg, 1953.176
Long committed to ideals of social equality, Fernand Léger sought, especially during the latter part of his career, to reconcile modern art with the demands of a mass audience. Beginning in the mid-1930s, the artist executed many monumental works and turned with increasing frequency to the motif of the human figure, using organic forms inspired by the natural world rather than the geometric shapes of the man-made, machine-oriented one. Inspired by his memory of swimmers diving off the docks in Marseilles, Divers on a Yellow Background is one of numerous drawings and paintings on this theme that the artist realized while residing in the United States during World War II.
— Permanent collection label
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