The Italian Almanac

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Le Corbusier painting

Le Corbusier in Alessandria

Evidence of the artistic double life of Le Corbusier, one of the most influential architects of the 20th century, has gone on show in a new exhibition in Alessandria. Around 60 canvases, watercolours and sketches on display at Palazzo Monferrato reveal the Swiss-born Le Corbusier's enduring passion for painting, which he continued to indulge quietly alongside his glittering architectural career.

Many of the works have never been seen before in Italy and are on loan from Le Corbusier Foundation of Paris and international private collections. ''Le Corbusier's painting is certainly less well known than his extraordinary activities as an architect, but it's just as important,'' said Vincenzo Sanfo, one of the show's curators. ''History has re-labelled him for us as one of the greatest painters of the last century''.

Sanfo explains Le Corbusier used art to record his daily adventures and passions as a sort of intimate diary. ''The spontaneity of the works gives us a better understanding of the creative process of the great architect and allows us to see the embryonic beginnings of some of his major architectural insights.''

'Le Corbusier - Paintings and Drawings' runs at Palazzo Monferrato in Alessandria until 30 March 2008.