Colorful Figures with Fernand Léger

 Artwork Exploration
Figure of a woman holding flowers with blocks of blue, yellow, and red.

Look closely at Fernand Léger’s Fragment and Variation on the "Partie de Campagne," an artwork from the Museum's Collection. Then, follow along with the prompts below to explore, learn more, and create an artwork of your own! 


  • What colors do you see? 
  • What shapes do you see? 
  • How many people do you see in the artwork? How are they dressed? 
  • What expressions do you see on the faces of the people? 


  • The colors in this artwork-- red, yellow, and blue-- are called primary colors. Primary colors can be mixed together to create all other colors. 
  • The artist who made this piece, Fernand Léger, was inspired by Edouard Manet, who was a famous artist before Léger was born. Léger strongly admired Manet throughout his life. 
  • This artwork is part of a series by Léger, all featuring characters enjoying free time in the countryside (inspired by Manet, who also painted folks enjoying the countryside). 


  • Why do you think the artist chose to use only primary colors? 
  • The artist did not fully color in the figures (people) he drew. Why do you think he chose to use color this way? How would the artwork be different if Léger had colored in the figures? 
  • What do you think the people in the artwork are doing? What do you see that makes you say that? 


  • Make your own artwork! You'll need plain heavy paper (watercolor paper or white cardstock would be best), black marker, watercolor paints, a paintbrush, and a small cup of water. 
  • You may want to place newspaper or paper towels underneath your paper so that your work surface stays clean and dry. 
  • Use the black marker to draw figures (people or animals) on the paper. Think about who the characters are, where they are, and what they are doing. 
  • When you are satisfied with your figures, use watercolor paint to add areas of red, yellow, and blue to your work. 
  • Choose a title for your artwork and share it with a friend or family member. 

Image Credits

Fernand Léger
b. 1881 Argentan, France; d. 1955 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
Fragment and Variation on the "Partie de Campagne," 1953
Gouache and ink on paper
14 1/2 x 11 1/4 in.
Accession date: 2007
Bequest of Isadore and Kelly Friedman
© 2020 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris