Charles Eduourd Jeanneret(1887-1965), known famously by his pseudonym Le Corbusier, is best remembered as an architect of the new age. It is seen the Le Corbusier as a multi-faceted person who worked hard and excelled in many fields during his life. But, he was really a person of many weaknesses who succeeded despite them and hence his strenuous life provide us with many lessons.
*Le Corbusier was born in Switzerland in 1887, and was a short sighted boy with a talent for drawing and painting from a very young age.
*He enrolled in the art school headed by Charles L’Eplattenier when he was just 13 years of age. He soon developed a fondness for his teacher who was also his mentor and was persuaded to switch on to a career in architecture by his teacher. Thus, he studied for architecture when he was 16 years of age.
*In addition he immersed himself in art, history, philosophy and poetry and was an avid reader sine young age, a writer of many books and articles and above all, an indefatigable artist who was never tired of sketching, to the end of his days
*.Compared to the recognition he received as an architect,he got little acknowledgement as an artist and painter,a fact that has pained him because he has repeatedly stated that he does not like architecture.It is a strange but honest admission from a personality who was synonymous with modern architecture.
*He did most visual things during the life (architecture, sketching, painting, reading and writing) but was a person who was plagued by poor sight since young day, wore large spectacles to see since young days, lost sight of one eye almost completely in 1918, even before he did most of the architectural work and paintings.
* He was of the firm conviction that creativity is holistic and the creative forces within a person can thus be channeled in many directions.In his book,Le Poe’me de l’angle droit(1955),it is stated that:”Drawings,paintings,sculpture,books,houses and town plans stem in my case from a single creative source dedicated to the various manifestations of the visual phenomenon.”
*Throughout his life,Le Corbusier was known to battle against overwhelming odds and was a risk taker. Some of these were professional, while others were in his personal life. Some he won, others he lost, but trudged on regardless.
*In his last months,he developed a heart condition that did not bother him. It was just another odd that needs to be surmounted. He went to Cap Martin in July 1965 for his usual vacation to spend his time writing,painting and swimming in the sea.
.*He went for the usual daily swim in the Mediterranean sea on 27.08.1965,and died while swimming, presumably from a heart failure.
Jagath Gunawardana Attorney-at-law