Musée Fernand Léger–André Mare director Magali Guillaumin with Léger’s Cycles X, ca. 1899. Photo: Ouest France.

Fernand Léger and André Mare Museum to Open in France

A new museum dedicated to twentieth-century French artists Fernand Léger and André Mare is expected to open in Argentan, Normandy, in June. Housed in the childhood home of Léger, at 6 rue de l’Hotel de Ville, the institution, which was acquired by the municipality of Argentan in 1990 and has since served as an artist studio and a project space, will undergo a $1.5 million renovation.

“[Léger and Mare’s] shared love for painting and drawing was to strengthen a sincere friendship that would nourish their respective creativity,” a statement from the museum reads. Musée Fernand Léger–André Mare “traces and tracks their lives from their beginnings in Argentan to international recognition, emphasizing their mutual emulation, the love they shared for their native land, and how their works were influenced by the experiences of their youth.”

According to France3, the museum will feature Cycles X, ca. 1899, a watercolor by Léger that belonged to a grandson of Mare. Mare’s relative let the Patrons’ Club of the Orne purchase the piece, which has an estimated worth of roughly $68,000, for $11,000 under the stipulation that it remain on display to the public. Earlier this month, the group gave the piece to the museum. Magali Guillaumin, director of heritage and museums in the city of Argentan, said that the watercolor is rare since Léger destroyed most of his early works.