Argentan 1881-1955 Paris, Gif-sur-Yvette (French)

Title: The Grey Root | Le racine gris, 1945/53

Technique: Hand Signed and Numbered Collotype with Pochoir on Wove Paper

Paper size: 63.5 x 74.5 cm. / 25 x 29.3 in.

Image size: 49 x 65 cm. / 19.3 x 25.6 in.

Additional Information: This collotype with pochoir is hand signed in black ink “F.Léger” at the lower right corner.

It is also signed and dated in the plate at the lower right.

It is hand numbered in pencil from the edition of 250, at the lower left margin.

The work was published by Guy Spitzer in 1953 in a limited edition of 250 impressions.

The blindstamp of the publisher is in the lower right, as issued. It is stamped with the publisher’s inkstamp, verso. It is additionally numbered with the edition number in blue ink, verso.

This work is based on Léger’s oil painting titled ‘Racine’ [Root] which was painted in 1945.

Note: Léger’s, ‘La racine gris’ [The Grey Root], was created using hand applied pochoir colouring, this is a unique technique in printmaking that closely resembles painted watercolours. The pochoir technique is applied to the finished print, thereby intensifying colour and making each print unique.

Provenance: Estēe Gallery, Toronto, Canada Private Collection, Toronto, Canada


1. Saphire, L. (1978). Fernand Léger: The Complete Graphic Work. New York: Blue Moon Press. Reference: Saphire E 21.

2. Spitzer, G. Editeur d’Art, Editions Guy Spitzer, Paris, page 9.

Condition: Very good condition. Very minor adhesive staining, verso. Scattered foxing across the sheet, only visible verso and not showing recto.