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Le Corbusier

3 of 13 portraits of Le Corbusier

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Le Corbusier

by Ida Kar
2 1/4 inch square film negative, 1954
Purchased, 1999
Photographs Collection
NPG x132958

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • Ida Kar (1908-1974), Photographer. Artist or producer associated with 1567 portraits, Sitter in 137 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Kar photographed Le Corbusier at his Paris studio on the seventh floor of 24 rue Nugesser et Coli, where he moved in 1934.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Freestone, Clare (appreciation) Wright, Karen (appreciation), Ida Kar Bohemian Photographer, 2011 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 10 March to 19 June 2011), p. 74 Read entry

    Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier, was born in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. Widely acclaimed as the most influential architect of the twentieth century, Le Corbusier was also a celebrated writer and artist. In 1917 he met the painter and designer Amédée Ozenfant, and together they developed purism, an aesthetic of simple geometric forms. In 1920 they founded L'Esprit Nouveau, a magazine that proposed functionalist ideas in architecture and city planning. Le Corbusier's architecture and innovative thinking revolutionised modern living with designs that ranged from private villas to large-scale social housing developments and utopian urban plans. His ideas still resonate in contemporary architecture. Key works include the Citrohan House (1922), Unite d'Habitation in Marseilles (1946-52), Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp, France (1950-5), the city complex of Chandigarh, India (1950-6) and the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo (1960). Kar photographed Le Corbusier at his Paris studio situated on the seventh floor of 24 rue Nungesser et Coli, where he moved in 1934. He is pictured at work with some of his still lifes behind him.

Placesback to top

  • Place made and portrayed: France (sitter's studio, 24 rue Nungesser et Coli, Paris, France)

Events of 1954back to top

Current affairs

Roger Bannister runs the four-minute mile. Bannister was the first man to achieve the 'miracle mile', a feat that was thought by some to be impossible, beating his rival, the Australian John Landy, to the record. Bannister went on to a career as a distinguished neurologist.
Food rationing ends in Britain.

Art and science

J.R.R. Tolkien publishes the first two parts of the Lord of the Rings trilogy: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. Tolkien was an Oxford professor of Anglo-Saxon language and literature and drew on his scholarly interests in history, language and mythology to create the fictional land of Middle Earth where the books are set.
Williams Golding publishes, Lord of the Flies.

International

The South East Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO) is established in Bangkok. This international defence organisation was established as part of the 'containment' policy of limiting the influence of communism. SEATO was, however, found to be ineffective as the member organisations failed to agree on combined action; it was disbanded in 1977.

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