Born in Normandy, Léger settled in Paris in 1902, where he was apprenticed to an architect. His first cubist paintings date from 1909. He was a major figure in the cubist movement, although his work featured bold tubular shapes instead of the fragmentation seen in the paintings of Picasso or Braque. After the First World War, Léger became fascinated with machinery and industrial forms. His work from the mid-1920s was increasingly stylized, using bold flat colours with strong outlines. Léger lived in America during the Second World War and was inspired by the dynamism and vitality of the country.