Fernand Léger
Fêtes de la faim, 1949

[Feasts of Hunger] Les Illuminations
Lithograph with Pochoir coloring
12-3/4 in. x 9-5/8 in.
Frame: 19 in. x 17 in.

OU_Museum_ad_v3Arthur Rimbaud’s poem “Fêtes de la faim” (Feast of Hunger) was probably written in 1872-73 while the author was on his way from England to Belgium. The poem is in part, adapted from folk songs that he seems to have collected. The content and meaning of the poem appears to cover a wide range of themes from dissent and anguish to metamorphosis and nature. It is a period in the author’s life when he is about to abandon his passion for literature and grow out of his adolescence, and pursue other reclusive experiences detached from his past.

Léger’s composition includes the portrait of a young woman holding up one hand and a flower on the opposite side.  The Les Illuminations lithographs were produced at the same time as Léger’s Cirque (Circus) series published in 1950. The portrait of the young woman with adorned collar appears in at least four lithographs of Cirque.