Fernand Léger. Le petit déjeuner, (1921).

ADC staff
Tremaine Collection / Miller Co. art & design
15 March 2019 | Updated 12 May 2020
Fernand Léger
Le petit déjeuner, (1921)
Oil on canvas
38 x 51 in. (96.5 x 129.5 cm)
Signed and dated lower right F. LEGER 21
(D01046; L01314-19)


KNOWN PROVENANCE
Mary Callery, Paris
Tremaine Collection, c. 1946-1991
After 1991, ownership unknown

The current location of Léger’s Le petit déjeuner is unknown. Click to see a photo of the artwork (Emily Hall Tremaine biography, third photo page after p. 120, direct to pdf).


The following is an excerpt from: Christie’s New York. (1991). Important Modern paintings from the Tremaine Collection, (5 November 1991). (Introduction by Tracy Atkinson, Curator of the Tremaine Collection; Director Emeritus, Wadsworth Atheneum), p. 36.

"In the early 1920s, Fernand Léger suspended the frenetic quality of his pre-war Cubist work in the interests of creating a calmer, more obviously ordered style that looked back to the art of the classical tradition. Joining an almost architectural, seemingly impersonal drawing style with highly inflected, individual touches and motifs that had the imprimature of antiquity led to the heroic figure style that is now Léger’s hallmark. The vast number of canvases which resulted from his initial interest in classical themes culminated in the monumental Le grand déjeuner..., now at The Museum of Modern Art and the nearly identical— though more intimate— version from the Tremaine Collection, Le petit déjeuner."

A. Le petit déjeuner in exhibitions

1. 1921-46: Exhibitions list

See the list


Known exhibitions at this juncture

> (June - November 1940). Extended loan, Museum of Modern Art, New York.*

> (January 1945). The Callery Collection, Picasso - Léger at Philadelphia Museum of Art. (Illustrated in Museum Bulletin, vo. XL, no. 204.)*

* Listed in: Christie’s New York. (5 November 1991). Important Modern paintings from the Tremaine Collection catalogue, p. 36.


2. 1946-91: Exhibitions during Tremaine ownership

Known exhibitions

In development; for now, see compiled "Tremaine Collection artworks and designs in exhibitions" compilation linked below, and search "Fernand" on the webpage using the "find" functionality on your web browser.

3. 1991-present: Selected exhibitions

See the list


Currently, there are no known exhibitions at this juncture.

B. Le petit déjeuner in publications

1. 1921-46: Publications list

See the list


There are no known publications at this juncture, in addition to that mentioned in the exhibitions section above, during this time period.


2. 1946-91: Publications during Tremaine ownership

This section is in development

> Miller Company (Meriden, CT). (1948). Painting toward architecture, pp. 26-28 (illustrated, p. 27). (Essay by Henry-Russell Hitchcock; foreword by Alfred H. Barr, Jr.; introduction by Burton Tremaine; acknowledgements by Emily Hall Tremaine, art director; many artwork texts by Mary Chalmers Rathbun; book design by Bradbury Thompson). New York; Duell, Sloan and Pearce. (L01315-16).

> Canaday, John. (1959). Mainstreams of Modern art, p. 465 (illustrated p. 464, no. 574). Holt, Rinehart and Winston: New York. (D01046; K01084; K01100-02).

> Hudson, Andrew. (26 September 1965). The show’s simply too large for the gallery [mention]. Washington Post, G9. (K01211).

> Nickels, Bradley J. (1966). Fernand Léger: Paintings and drawings, 1905-1930, pp. 256-57 (illustrated, VIII-27, p. 274b). PhD thesis: Indiana University. (D01046; K01085) [unconfirmed]

> Reif, Rita. (11 May 1966). Every night is maid’s night out. New York Times, p. 50 (illustrated, New York apartment interior view). (K01159).

> Willard, Charlotte. (1971). Famous Modern artists: From Cézanne to Pop art, (p. 104, illustrated). Platt & Munk: New York. (K01094-99).

> Green, Christopher. (1976). Léger and the avant-garde, p. 227 (illustrated, p. 229, pl. 151). Yale University Press: New Haven, CT. (D01046; K01086) [unconfirmed]

> (1984). The Tremaine Collection: 20th century masters exhibition catalogue (illustrated, p. 36). Wadsworth Atheneum: Hartford, CT. (L01318-19)

> Bourdon, David. (1 February 1984). People are talking about... collectors courageous [feature on The Tremaine Collection - 20th century masters: The spirit of modernism exhibition at the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT]. Vogue, p. 56, (illustrated). (K01161-62).

> Bauquier, Georges. (1987). Fernand Léger: Vivre dans le vrai, p. 100. Adrien Maeght: Paris. (D01046; K01087) [unconfirmed]




3. 1991-present: Selected publications

See the list


This section is in development

> Reif, Rita. (7 June 1991). 50 paintings to be sold from Tremaine estate. New York Times, p. C3, (illustrated, detail). (K00738). (For more selected coverage on the 1991 auction, see at bottom the Tremaine Collection artworks in Tremaine auction catalogues (1988, 1991) webpage.)

> Atkinson, Tracy. (1991). Fernand Léger (1881-1955): Le petit déjeuner. In: Christie’s New York. (1991). Important Modern paintings from the Tremaine Collection, (5 November 1991), pp. 34-41 (illustrated, p. 35 and detail on wraparound catalogue cover). (D01043-54)

> Berry, Heidi L. (21 November 1991). Any price in a storm [mention]. Washington Post, pp. 9-12. (K01181).

> Housley, Kathleen. (2001). Emily Hall Tremaine: Collector on a cusp, [p. 92, illustrated, installation view, Painting toward architecture, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT (1947-48); p. 95, illustrated, installation view, Painting toward architecture, California Palace Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA (July- August 1948); third photo page after p. 120, illustrated, Tremaine apartment interior view, New York, (undated)]. Meriden, CT: Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation. (K01241-42; K01248-49; K01253).

> Preece, Robert. (July / August 2017). Rethinking "Painting toward architecture" (1947-52). Sculpture magazine, p. 18, [illustrated, installed in Painting toward architecture at Contemporary Art Museum, Houston (January-February 1950)]. (K01311).

> Preece, Robert. (July / August 2017). Rethinking "Painting toward architecture" (1947-52), [illustrated, installed in Painting toward architecture at Contemporary Art Museum, Houston (January-February 1950)]. Sculpture magazine, (online reprint with additional installation photo on artdesigncafe.com), (illustrated). (K01319).

> Preece, R. J. (30 December 2017 / 8 January 2018). Painting toward architecture (1947-52) in 2017: Three works, three histories, three Modern mysteries; Piet Mondrian. Victory boogie woogie & Painting toward architecture, [illustrated, installed in Painting toward architecture at Contemporary Art Museum, Houston (January-February 1950)]. artdesigncafe.com. (K01306; K01309).

> Preece, R. J. (18 June 2018). Theo van Doesburg’s Space-time construction #3 and Composition XX in the Painting toward architecture exhibitions (1947-52), [illustrated, installed in Painting toward architecture at Contemporary Art Museum, Houston (January-February 1950)]. artdesigncafe.com. (K01310).




C. Photoworks by Louise Lawler showing Fernand Léger’s Le petit déjeuner, during Tremaine ownership:

Louise Lawler. Three women / three chairs, arranged by Mr. & Mrs. Burton Tremaine Sr., New York City, (1984). B/W photograph. Edition of 5 and 1 artist’s proof.
Louise Lawler. Three women / three chairs, arranged by Mr. & Mrs. Burton Tremaine Sr., New York City, (1984 / 1990, placemat).
Louise Lawler. Black cat, (1991).
Louise Lawler. Oil on canvas, (1991 / 1997).

D. Information about Le petit déjeuner in the Emily Hall Tremaine papers:

Emily Hall Tremaine papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Series 4: Artist Files, 1936-2000. Artist file: "Leger, Fernand, circa 1956-1993".

E. Other information resources concerning Le petit déjeuner, mainly focused while under Tremaine ownership (1946-91):

Emily Hall Tremaine Papers at the Smithsonian, reproduction permissions section: Shortlisted guide to artworks

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Emily Hall Tremaine Papers at the Smithsonian, reproduction permissions section: Shortlisted guide to artworks To assist researchers, below is a quick scan through the documentation that specifies which artworks are mentioned in each folder. As a reminder, this documentation provides leads,...

Emily Hall Tremaine - Tremaine Collection artworks and designs in publications (compilation; 1945-present)

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Emily Hall Tremaine - Tremaine Collection artworks and designs in publications (compilation; 1945-present) With her extensive communications experience from the 1930s, Emily Hall Tremaine marshalled those skills for the benefit of the artworks and designs that she worked with, 1945-87. This...

The Tremaine Collection: 20th Century Masters exhibition catalogue (list of photos of artworks and designs) (1984)

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ADC staff - 26 Aug 19

The Tremaine Collection: 20th Century Masters exhibition catalogue (list of photos of artworks and designs) (1984) The following is a photo index of the catalogue accompanying the exhibition at the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT (26 February - 29 April 1984). The following photos of artworks...

Tremaine Collection artworks in Tremaine auction catalogues (1988, 1991)

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Louise Lawler. The Tremaine pictures. List of photoworks (2007)

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Rethinking Painting toward architecture (1947-52) (2017)

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Rethinking Painting toward architecture (1947-52) (2017) Painting toward architecture exhibition as installed at the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston (January-February 1950). Courtesy the Karl Kamrath Collection, University of Texas at Austin architectural archives. (See FN "Photo A" below...

The Painting toward architecture exhibition (1947-52) by the Miller Company Collection of Abstract Art: The artworks and designs (2016)

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The Painting toward architecture exhibition (1947-52), Miller Company Collection of Abstract Art: Documentation and historical information

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Tremaine Collection artworks and designs in exhibitions (compilation; 1945-present)

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Tremaine Collection artworks and designs in exhibitions (compilation; 1945-present) Starting with their Miller Company Collection of Abstract Art, Burton Tremaine and Emily Hall Tremaine, known for her great eye, built a collection of works which were featured in hundreds of exhibitions. After...

The Tremaine Collection: 20th Century Masters (1984) (list of artworks in exhibition)

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The Tremaine Collection: 20th Century Masters (1984) (list of artworks in exhibition) The following is a spotlighted list of works on view in the exhibition The Tremaine Collection: 20th Century Masters at the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford (26 February - 29 April 1984). After each artwork...

Emily Hall Tremaine - Painting toward architecture press release (1948)

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Emily Hall Tremaine - Painting toward architecture press release (1948) The following is a copy of the original press release prepared by the Miller Company Collection of Abstract Art. This show travelled to at least 28 venues across the US and generated significant art, design, architecture...