The main studies examining Le Corbusier's early life and influences—Paul V. Turner's La formation de Le Corbusier: Idealisme et mouvement moderne (1987) and H. Allen Brooks's Le Corbusier's Formative Years (1997)—have nothing to say about Gottfried Semper, the influential nineteenth-century German architect and architectural theorist.1 Considering the vast numbers of other people and ideas these books discuss, the omission is understandable. Le Corbusier does not specifically mention Semper in any of his published books or articles. He does, however, make oblique references to Semper in letters to family members and in travel diaries, where he writes about rejecting the neo-Renaissance, nineteenth-century architecture found in German and Austrian...

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