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L'engrenage rouge – Nature morte en rouge et bleu (The Red Gear – Still Life in Red and Blue)

© ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2024. Image credit: Pallant House Gallery, Chichester

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In this bold painting, Léger uses the traditional still-life format as a vehicle to explore form, colour and shape. These elements are explicitly the subject of the painting and given equal emphasis. Léger was interested in what he called 'the spectacle of objects' - new modes of aesthetic experience, which he believed corresponded to the proliferation of mass-produced objects within the human environment. His interest in the contrast of constructive forces, between the naturally and mechanically produced, is expressed through the motifs of the active red 'gear', a plant form and a passive blue jug on a table. These appear in a number of works by the artist from the late 1930s, most notably the mural he executed in Nelson A. Rockefeller's apartment in New York in 1938–1939.

Pallant House Gallery



L'engrenage rouge – Nature morte en rouge et bleu (The Red Gear – Still Life in Red and Blue)




oil on canvas


H 49.2 x W 64.2 cm

Accession number

CHCPH 0592

Acquisition method

bequeathed by Charles Kearley, through the National Art Collections Fund, 1989

Work type


Inscription description

39 F. Leger


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Normally on display at

Pallant House Gallery

9 North Pallant, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 1TJ England

This venue is open to the public. Not all artworks are on display. If you want to see a particular artwork, please contact the venue.
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