Architecture: The Revolutionary

Sitting outside the famed Rotonde café in Montparnasse in 1921, the late Abstract Painter Fernand Léger spied what he described as "an extraordinary mobile object" bicycling alone, dressed in clergyman's black and a derby hat. Wrote the painter: "He advanced quietly, scrupulously obeying the laws of perspective." It was Le Corbusier.

Léger later had good cause to recall this first meeting with the angular man in black, who died last week of a heart attack at 77. Born Charles-Edouard Jeanneret to a family of Swiss watchmakers, Le Corbusier adopted one of his...

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