Le Corbusier’s «Le poème de l’angle droit»


Le Corbusier - Poème de l'angle droit, No. 7
Sheet No. 7
Le Corbusier - Poème de l'angle droit, No. 1
Sheet No. 1
Le Corbusier - Poème de l'angle droit, No. 19
Sheet No. 19
Le Corbusier - Poème de l'angle droit, No. 6
Sheet No. 6






In mid-1947, Le Corbusier started on his eight-year-
long work on his masterpiece of graphic art: the
«Poème del’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 se-
cond 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.

For our current range of LCs „Poème“ prints,
see: art-lc.com