Fernand Léger’s use of streamlined forms derived from mechanical imagery dates from World War I, when he served in the French army. His predilection for military hardware and its gleaming surfaces corresponded with his feelings of solidarity with the foot soldiers surrounding him in the trenches. The machine aesthetic he adopted at this time reflected his hopes of creating a truly popular art form that would describe and invigorate modern life. After the war, he turned away from the experiments with pure abstraction that characterize his earlier work and infused his art with social meaning; quasi-representational motifs emerged in lively paintings depicting soldiers, factory workers, bargemen, and pulsating urban environments. In works such as The City of 1919, The Mechanic of 1920, and Composition (definitive state) of 1925, Léger incorporated elements of Cubist fragmentation into his new pristine, mechanical syntax to evoke the energy of contemporary experience. In Composition, Leger experimented with a complex arrangement of overlapping geometric shapes—some rounded to evoke pipes, or bolts, but all effectively and resolutely abstract.