1897-1899 Léger is apprenticed with an architect in Caen.
1900-1904 In Paris, studies at the Arts Décoratifs and the Académie Julian.
1905 His earliest surviving pictures date from this time.
1908 Settling in the artists’ residence of ‘La Ruche’, he meets Delaunay, Chagall, Henri Laurens, Apollinaire, Blaise Cendrars, Max Jacob...
1910 Is introduced to the Kahnweiler Gallery and participates in the Section d’Or group.
1911 Nudes in the Forest (1909-10) is exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants.
1912 Woman in Blue causes a scandal at the Salon d’Automne.
1913 Moves his studio to 86 rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs (he will keep it to the end of his life). Contract with Kahnweiler.
1914-1917 Called up, he is wounded and exempted from service at the end of 1917.
1918-1920 Series of Disks, Acrobats and Tugboats; now under contract with Léonce Rosenberg.
1921 ‘Animated Landscapes’ and Women in an Interior. Sets and costumes for the Skating Rink (for Les Ballets Suédois) .
1923 With architect Mallet-Stevens, works on the sets for Marcel Lherbier’s film L’Inhumaine.
1924 The ‘Mechanical Elements’ series; shoots the film Ballet mécanique with Man Ray and Dudley Murphy; founds an academy at rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs (with Amédée Ozenfant). Over the next few years exhibits, travels and lectures profusely all over Europe.
1931 First trip to the United States (New York and Chicago).
1935 Retrospective at MoMA; second journey to New York.
1937 ‘International Exhibition’ in Paris: paints Le Transport des forces for the Palais de la Découverte.
1938-39 Third stay in United States, where he gives eight lectures at Yale and receives a commission from Nelson Rockefeller for his New York apartment.
1940 Leaves from Marseille for New York in October.
1941-1945 Teaches at Mills College (California), meeting many artists and writers in exile (Masson, Ernst, Mondrian, Breton…). Series of Divers, Landscapes, and Cyclists. Returns to France in January 1946.
1946 Order for a mosaic for the front of the church at Assy.
1949 A retrospective is held at the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris. His academy reopens on Boulevard de Clichy and is attended by many young American artists.
1950 Tériade publishes Cirque, with text and illustrations by Léger; works on mockups for stained-glass in the church at Audincourt, and on the series of Constructors.
1952 Moves to Gif sur Yvette, with Nadia Khodossievich (his pupil and then from the 1930s assistant).
1954 Paints La Grande Parade.
1955 Fernand Léger dies in Gif-sur-Yvette on 17 August.