Artist biography

Le Corbusier (Charles-Edouard Jeanneret) 1887-1965

Franco-Swiss architect, painter, lithographer, sculptor, designer and theorist. Charles-Edouard Jeanneret born at La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. Studied engraving and chasing at the art school at La Chaux-de-Fonds. Received his first architectural commission in 1905. Worked with the architects Josef Hoffmann in Vienna 1907-8, Auguste Perret in Paris 1908-9 and Peter Behrens in Berlin 1910; also travelled extensively throughout Europe. Settled in 1917 in Paris, where he met Ozenfant with whom he founded the Purist movement in painting: still-life compositions of standardised objects such as bottles and musical instruments in profile. First one-man exhibition with Ozenfant at the Galerie Thomas, Paris, 1918. Wrote with Ozenfant Après le Cubisme 1918 and La Peinture Moderne 1925, and founded with him the revue L'Esprit Nouveau 1920-5. Though increasingly active as an architect, continued always to paint, signing his works first 'Jeanneret' then from 1928 'Le Corbusier', a pseudonym derived from the name of a maternal grandparent. From about 1926 began to include the human figure in his compositions and to work in a freer, more Surrealist style. Took French nationality in 1930. His later works included a series of woodcarvings made from 1945 with the aid of Joseph Savina, and a number of designs for tapestries. Died at Cap Martin.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.415