André Amédée Nicolas Lefèvre was a successful financier and stockbroker who retired in 1927 at the age of forty-four in order to fully devote himself to collecting art and books. His collection was especially strong in Cubism, but he also collected art from Africa and the Pacific Islands.
Lefèvre was advised in his collecting by the owner of Galerie Percier, André Level. He was also friends with Alfred Richet, businessman and another prominent French collector of modern art who would later serve as executor of Lefèvre’s will. Lefèvre purchased works by Fernand Léger and Pablo Picasso from the Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler sequestration sales at Hôtel Drouot in Paris (1921–23), and he also owned works by Georges Braque and Juan Gris.
After Lefèvre’s death, some of the art in his collection was donated to French museums, including the Musée national d’art moderne, Paris, which received around 30 works. More than 400 others were sold at four sales that took place annually between 1964 and 1967 at the Palais Galliera and Hôtel Drouot. Among those pieces were 52 Picassos, 30 Légers, 23 paintings by Gris, and 6 Braques. At the second Léfevre sale held at the Palais Galliera from November 23–25, 1965, Braque’s painting Man with a Guitar (1914) sold for more than 1 million French francs. It was the first Cubist painting to sell for such a price. Additional artists extensively collected by Lefèvre were: André Beaudin, Henri Laurens, André Masson, Henri Matisse, Amadeo Modigliani, and Joan Mirò.