With a few colours and geometric shapes, Léger created an image of modern mankind in a mechanised world. Depicted are three faceless figures, which only the title reveals to be fishermen, in a seemingly unnatural landscape. Léger was convinced of the industrialisation’s positive effects. He wanted to depict the hitherto altered society of the early 20th century and developed a formal language following Cubism: figures, objects and pictorial spaces are composed of simple, curved shapes and tubes (French: “tubes”); this is why Léger’s work is also referred to as “tubism”.
This painting made its way into the museum in 1976 as a gift from the Imprimatur foundation. The Imprimatur-Stiftung, Gemeinnützige GmbH was founded in Frankfurt in 1957. It owns the simple majority of the Frankfurter Societäts-Druckerei GmbH. The foundation supports young journalists and also training positions in the graphics profession in a variety of ways. It also endows a prize for excellent journalistic performance. In 1989 it affiliated with the Fazit-Stiftung.
Since 2001, the Städel Museum has systematically been researching the provenance of all objects that were acquired during the National Socialist period, or that changed owners or could have changed owners during those years. The basis for this research is the “Washington Declaration”, also known as the “Washington Conference Principles”, formulated at the 1998 “Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets” and the subsequent “Joint Declaration”.
The provenance information is based on the sources researched at the time they were published digitally. However, this information can change at any time when new sources are discovered. Provenance research is therefore a continuous process and one that is updated at regular intervals.
Ideally, the provenance information documents an object’s origins from the time it was created until the date when it found its way into the collection. It contains the following details, provided they are known:
The successive ownership records are separated from each other by a semicolon.
Gaps in the record of a provenance are indicated by the placeholder “…”. Unsupported information is listed in square brackets.
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