Le Cheval sur fond jaune can be compared to the artist's first ceramic works, completed between 1950-52. In collaboration with master ceramist Roland Brice, Léger created a group of low relief ceramic plaques modeled on his paintings of 1936-38. Yvonne Brunhammer compares this relationship to the partnership between Picasso and Suzanne and Georges Ramié (Brunhammer, 126). Léger eventually mastered the art of ceramics himself, going on to create monumental public installations.
Using a tri-color palette of yellow, black and white, the artist renders his horse in a boldly graphic manner. Wearing bridle and bit, the animal might represent an image of the common worker. A member of the French Communist Party since 1945, Léger made art but kept the common person always in mind; the highest goal, for him, was to produce pieces intelligible to passerby in the streets (Brunhammer 13-14). Marked by true and straight imagery, Le Cheval sur fond jaune embodies these intensely personal - and political - aspirations.
Created in 1953 after the original model by the artist, this original low relief ceramic plaque is made of painted and glazed clay. Bearing the artist's initials 'F.L' in the lower right corner, this piece is numbered 8/250 and signed on the verso by Nadia Léger 'N. LEGER'. Label on the verso reads 'LE CHEVAL sur fond jaune | Edition à 250 exemplaires d'apres la | maquette originale de Fernand LEGER | (exclusivité Musée National F. LEGER_BIOT) | Numéro 8/250.'