Lot 3240* - A189 Impressionist & Modern Art - Friday, 28. June 2019, 05.00 PM


(La Chaux-de-Fonds 1887 - 1965 Roquebrune-Cap-Martin)
Femme endormie. 1945.
Oil on panel.
Monogrammed and dated lower right: L-C / 45.
24 x 33 cm.

- Auction Loiseau-Schmitz, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, auction 8 May 1994, lot 83.
- Private collection, Monaco.

- Jornod, Naïma/Jornod, Jean-Pierre: Le Corbusier (Charles Edouard Jeanneret). Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, vol. II, Milan 2005, no. 328 (with ill.).
- Petit, Jean: Le Corbusier lui-même, Rousseau, Geneva 1970, p. 214.

It was not until 1938, on the occasion of a very positively reviewed exhibition of his works in the Kunsthaus Zürich, that Le Corbusier received recognition as a painter, although he had devoted himself to artistic drawing earlier than he had to architecture. Throughout his life painting served him as a "chose sacrée", a source of inspiration, and a playground for new ideas. Tectonic principles also predominate in Le Corbusier’s painted works, such as in the arrangement of human forms, which often have a grounded effect, as seen in the present work. Further evident is an almost exuberant joy in the use of colour and spontaneous design.
The full title of the present work is "Les îles sont des corps de femmes à demi immergés qui retiennent les bateaux entre leurs bras", translated as "The islands are half-submerged female bodies holding boats in their arms". It is inspired by Homer’s Odyssey and reveals Le Corbusier's passion for Greek mythology.
"Les îles sont des corps de femmes à demi immergés qui retiennent les bateaux entre leurs bras" shares the same theme and format as the painting (No. 327) directly preceding it in the catalogue raisonné by Jeanneret. There, a sun has been placed in the top left, which the artist has depicted in the form of Apollo with his horse-drawn sun chariot in the present work. The same subject is also depicted in a drawing and in a tapestry executed by Vasarely in 1948.

CHF 80 000 / 120 000

€ 74 770 / 112 150