Paintings such as Nudes in the Forest (1910) show his earlier shift from Impressionism into this more unusual style. Cubism is inspired by breaking an image into its parts rather than showing them as realistic.
In Nudes in the Forest, Leger takes a monochrome approach which combines the shapes of humans with the shapes of trees, creating a beautiful and confusing canvas that draws the eye and confounds the mind.
Instead of the flat style of many cubist artists of the time, Leger is distinct in the fact that he continues to create three dimensional shapes in his art. It is possible to see that in this painting, where the cylinders of the trees and limbs seem to ripple and pile across the image, giving it depth beyond many of his peers.
Though the colours could seem unimpressive compared to the work of other cubists, Leger uses shape and form more than colour in Nudes in the Forest to create interest.
The use of cylinders in such a way is linked to the fascination in Leger's time with the industrialisation that was happening at the time, and the interest in robots that translates into his art.
In fact, it could be said that the piles of shapes in Nudes in the Forest almost appears as a heap of robotic parts, all combined into one unusual piece of art that is open to many interpretations.
It is always interesting to view an important artist's early work, and in this case it shows Leger's tendency to use the prevalent art trends to create his own path. Nudes in the Forest was his first major piece of cubism, a path that would eventually take him on to be one of the main influences in the Pop Art movement.