Le Corbusier | The artist – available "Poème"-prints
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Le Corbusier’s “Le poème de l’angle droit”

In mid-1947, Le Cor­bu­si­er star­ted on his eight-year-long work on his mas­ter­pie­ce of gra­phic art: the “Poè­me de l’angle droit”, a port­fo­lio of works prin­ted by Mour­lot Frè­res and as much the sum­mit as also a con­cen­tra­ti­on of LC’s world of thought and images. The work com­pri­ses 19 full-page color litho­graphs, which Mour­lot trans­fer­red from LC’s col­la­ges onto stone by hand – “Le Cor­bu­si­er a exé­cu­té plu­s­ieurs lithos ori­gi­na­les pour illus­trer le tex­te écrit à la main”, wro­te Mourlot.


The “Poè­me” was orde­red by the legen­da­ry Pari­si­an publisher Stra­tis Eleft­he­ria­des, known as Téria­de; he published it in 1955. He had pre­vious­ly published simi­lar­ly lar­ge-sca­le port­fo­li­os in his Edi­ti­ons Ver­ve: 1947 “Jazz” by Matis­se, “Le chant des mor­ts” (1948), by Pierre Rever­dy and Pablo Picas­so, as well as “Cir­que” by LC’s clo­se fri­end Fer­nand Léger (1950).

The “Poè­me” has 150 pages and is divi­ded into seven chap­ters. The 19 full-paged litho­graphs illus­tra­te LC’s view of the world and natu­re and of humanity’s place in the­se – the “Modul­or” for exam­p­le stands for the con­nec­tion bet­ween natu­re, archi­tec­tu­re, and the cos­mos in the second chap­ter titled “Esprit”. The edi­ti­on was made up of 250 port­fo­li­os meant to be sold, and 20 fur­ther exem­plars hors com­mer­ce, all of them num­be­red in the publisher’s impress and hand-signed. Fur­ther­mo­re, Téria­de also published a collector’s edi­ti­on – a suite of the 19 full-page illus­tra­ti­ons in 60 spe­cial edi­ti­ons with some­what lar­ger for­mat. Le Cor­bu­si­er signed and num­be­red each of the 19 works of all 60 portfolios.