The Chapel at Ronchamp

The Chapel at Ronchamp

The Chapel at Ronchamp

The Chapel at Ronchamp

Excerpt

VOILA . . .

This is what slipshod, complacent language, and what the superficial mind (the shrug of the shoulders in club and salon with its «Well, why not?») types as, «Baroque» or, should you prefer it, «Baroquism». And from Ronchamp ( 1950 - 55) a retrospective judgement is made on the whole of an earnest life of struggle, of honesty, of meticulous research, of constant fight, of adjustment at every second and minute of the thousand factors which, in a true work, are all gathered and collected into a closely knit pattern -- and even in the simple crossing of right angles, sign and symbol of an existence -- these thousand factors about which no-one ought or would wish to speak of . . .

Painting as well as Town Planning or Architecture is involved in this verdict, (delightful, golden discovery: -- «Corbu is a Baroque!»). And the figures (human) of his paintings from 1930 furnish proof of it. For the glass and the bottles of purism (a word that I did not invent myself since I was in the middle of the movement and so could not appreciate or judge it. I never had the urge, nor the right, to appraise my research or to label it) were but logic and compasses, a turning away from the confusion which . . . that . . . etc. I beg your pardon! In 1910, I spent six weeks at the Parthenon. At the age of 23 my consciousness had determined its future direction.

«Laborious hours in the revealing light of the Acropolis. Perilous hours which brought a distressing doubt about the (real) strength of our strength, the (real) art of our art. Those who, practising the art of architecture, find themselves at a point in their career, their brain empty, and heart broken with doubt in face of the task of giving living form to dead material, will realise the despondency of soliloquies amongst the ruins, of mute conversations with the silent stones. Very often I left the Acropolis my shoulders bowed with heavy foreboding not daring to face the fact that one day I would have to practise.

The Parthenon is a drama . . »*).

I am not faultless or simple, I am filled with turmoil and undercurrents. When pondering and working out a project (town planning, architecture or painting) always a long process, I bring into focus, I realise, I come to the point. I have made an immense effort . . .

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