Fernand Léger had conceived the project of illustrating a book on the theme of the city, that is, Paris. Paris had inspired his work from La Ruche and the Abattoirs de Vaugirard, through Montparnasse and the rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs, across the Seine and its tugboats, the street, its lovers, its soldiers and its merchants of the four seasons, the stations, the quays and their bird dealers, the Eiffel Tower and the Opera.

Old or recent memories, like the singer on the radio or the gas pump, memories of life that mingle with those of his work and evoke the universe of his painting, his own world, that world which is life itself. Léger had many things to say about his city, about the streets where he always liked to find a new element to take up one day in his painting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - Preface to La Ville, Tériade Éditeur, 1955

Fernand Léger's project did not see the light of day before his death, and it was his wife Nadia Léger and Fernand Mourlot who collected and completed the out-of-text plates intended for this work and constituted the album La Ville published by Tériade in 1959

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