After a period of working with abstract imagery, Léger returned to the use of realistic subjects for his paintings in the 1940s and 1950s. Léger did not view this change as a rejection of the aims of abstraction, but rather as a way of continuing to pursue the aims of pure painting with a new vocabulary. The goals were still the same, according to Léger, whether the image included objects from the everyday world or was completely abstract, "The plastic life, the picture, is made up of harmonious relationships among volumes, lines, and colors. These are the three forces that must govern works of art. If, in organizing these three essential elements harmoniously, one finds that objects, elements of reality, can enter into the composition, it may be better and may give the work more richness. But they must be subordinated to the three essential elements mentioned above" (Beth Handler, Fernand Léger, (exhibition catalogue), The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1998, p. 247).