Fernand Léger, (born February 4, 1881, Argentan, France—died August 17, 1955, Gif-sur-Yvette) Fernand Léger was a French painter, sculptor, and filmmaker in the first half of the 20th century. He was deeply influenced by modern industrial technology and Cubism and created a personal form of cubism in his early works which he gradually modified into a more figurative, populist style. He is also credited with the development of “machine art”, a style characterized by monumental mechanistic forms rendered in bold colors. His art which significantly differed from the art of his contemporaries has caused him to be regarded as a forerunner of pop art. Born to a peasant family in a small town in rural France, he was expected to take forward the family tradition and raise cattle. However, the creative young man set his heart upon becoming an architect. After convincing his reluctant father he enrolled in architecture school and accepted an apprenticeship under an architect in Caen. However, he soon realized that his true interest lay in painting and not architecture. Thus he seriously embarked on a career as a painter and became a popular artist before long. As he matured as an artist, he increasingly incorporated elements of modernism into his works and during his later years he further expanded his repertoire to include tapestry, pottery, stained glass and mosaics.