The Monnaie de Paris has launched the third coin in a series titled simply, “The 7 Arts”. This series, which began in 2013 and showcases various artistic mediums, enters 2015 by highlighting the work of one of France’s best known architects, Charles-Edouard Jeanneret.
Jeanneret, also known as “Le Corbusier,” was born on the 6th of October in la Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. He was the second son of Edouard Jeanneret, an artist who painted dials as part of the town’s renowned watch industry, and Madame Jeannerct-Perrct, a musician and piano teacher. After primary school, he entered the School of Art in 1900 and trained to be an engraver.
At the age of 20, Le Corbusier began a series of tours through Europe, most notably to Vienna, Paris, Lyon, and Berlin. During his travels he undertook apprenticeships with various architects, most significantly with structural rationalist Auguste Perret, a pioneer of reinforced concrete construction. Then, from October 1910 to March 1911, he studied with renowned architect Peter Behrens.
After World War I broke out in 1914, he left la Chaux-de-Fond for good. He settled in Paris in 1917. It was in 1920 that Jeanneret adopted the nickname of Le Corbusier, after one of his Albigense ancestors.
In 1922, Le Corbusier built his first house in Paris. His first commission was for the French painter, Amédée Ozenfant; a year later, he built twin houses for two of his cousins, Pierre Jeanneret and Raoul La Roche. It was at this time that he opened his agency in Rue de Sèvres with his cousin. This location is where le Corbusier would spend the remaining working years of his life. In 1927, the two cousins established the basis of the Modern Movement and defined the five points of new architecture: pilings, a roof deck, an open design, a horizontal window, and free design of the façade.
At the end of the Second World War, France needed social housing and the government asked Le Corbusier to work on this challenge. As a result, the Housing Unit project was born. Built between 1947 and 1952, the Cité Radieuse was built in the 8th district in Marseille. Most of the houses were duplexes, which were joined together in a structure standing on pilings. Connected by large corridors, the inhabitants were able to enjoy greater space than in crowded high-rises, while having access to shops that were located within the buildings or adjacent to the houses. This was the first project in a series of five others, and today the Cité Radieuse is listed as a designated historical monument.
Le Corbusier’s architecture is now remembered chiefly for his use of steel and reinforced concrete, and for his work with elemental geometric forms. His paintings emphasized clear forms and structures, which corresponded to his architecture. He died in 1965 and the coins’ launch also marks the 50th anniversary of his death.
The coins, one gold and one silver, share a common design. The obverse for each coin includes a front-facing portrait of Le Corbusier positioned to the right side, with him glancing to the left. A stylized script of the text LE CORBUSIER is positioned above the primary portrait. Behind the portrait, a background of blueprints can be seen. The coin’s denomination of 50 EURO (gold) or 10 EURO (silver) is placed to the left of the portrait.
The reverse design includes a drawing of the Cité Radieuse, built in 1952 in Marseille. Le Corbusier defined the house as “the container of a family.” The building is adorned with a rooftop terrace that offers an exceptional 360° point of view.
|10 €URO||.900 silver||22 grams||37 mm.||Proof||5000 pieces|
|50 €URO||.920 gold||8.45 grams||22 mm.||Proof||500 pieces|
The coins are available for purchase as individual pieces directly from the Monnaie de Paris. “The 7 Arts” series concludes in 2019; the subjects included thus far have been Dance (2013) and Music (2014). The remaining subjects include Cinema (2016), Sculpture (2017), Literature & Poetry (2018), and Painting (2019). For more information on these and other coins offered by the Monnaie de Paris, please visit their Web site. Information is offered in French & English, with international orders dispatched where applicable.