Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, LC2015 - Le Corbusier, 50 years later

Font Size: 
Ratio and the Divine Proportions: Le Corbusier and Rudolf Wittkower
James Kirk Irwin

Last modified: 15-12-2015


Abstract: This paper will evaluate Le Corbusier’s notion of ratio as expressed in his Modulor and Modulor 2. Particular emphasis will be placed on the dialogue (or polemical exchange) between Rudolf Wittkower and Le Corbusier contained within Modulor 2 concerning the nature of the Divine Proporzione. The historiography of this area of art and architecture includes a vigorous debate from the mid-twentieth century among Modernist architects and art historians over the nature of the Divine Proportions. It is in this context that the dialogue between Le Corbusier and Wittkower occurs. Le Corbusier describes human form with a Fibonacci-based number system expressed through a universally applied system of measure, Le Modulor. Wittkower describes a set of harmonic proportions, conceptually universal, that describe the essence of Renaissance Architecture. Both influenced the course of Modern Architecture in the late twentieth-century.


Keywords: Le Modulor, Wittkower.


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4995/LC2015.2015.743

Full Text: PDF