- Fernand Léger
- La Femme au miroir
- Signed F. Léger and dated 20 (lower right); signed F. Léger and inscribed très amicalement on the reverse
- Oil on canvas
- 16 1/4 by 13 in.
- 41.3 by 33 cm
Private Collection (acquired from the above circa 1941)
Sale: Sotheby's, London, November 28, 1989, lot 62
Theodore J. Forstmann, New York (acquired at the above sale and sold: Sotheby's, New York, May 2, 2012, lot 5)
Acquired at the above sale
In the present work, Léger portrays a female model seated at her toilette looking out at the viewer behind a handheld mirror. The work belongs to a series of eight paintings on the subject. Christopher Green writes of this series from 1920: "Léger's subject here is a single figure seen half-length at a dressing-table holding up a hand-mirror whose oval outline cuts across her face, a subject perfectly geared to his destructively ambiguous intentions. Enough legible features are left to announce the essentials of the subject, the eye, the hand, and the half cup which are inserted in the état définitif being especially recognizable. But these features are dispersed as merely partial clues in a loose disintegrated array of colour planes, bars, metallic elements, and indeed, the fragmentary use of such clearly recognizable features, much more than the elusive suggestions made in themes like Le Typographe, simply serve to intensify the effect of figurative disintegration - of destruction" (Christopher Green, Léger and the Avant-Garde, New Haven & London, 1976, p. 195).
La Femme au miroir, closely related to the version now housed at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, was acquired as a gift from the artist by Ragnar Hoppe. A Deputy Director of the Swedish National Museums, Hoppe was simultaneously instrumental in the museum's acquisition of the larger version which now holds a laudable position in the collection of the Moderna Museet.