LE CORBUSIER, CHARLOTTE PERRIAND AND PIERRE JEANNERET
CHAISE LONGUE, MODEL NO. 2072
produced by Embru-Werke AG, Switzerland
tubular steel, fabric and leather upholstery
27⅝ x 62 x 22¼ in. (70.1 x 157.5 x 55.9 cm)
La Clarté residential building, Geneva, Switzerland
Galerie Downtown, Paris
Acquired from the above by David Teiger, 1999
Mary McLeod, ed., Charlotte Perriand: An Art of Living, New York, 2003, pp. 12-13, 38, 47, 49, 132, 179 and 205
Arthur Rüegg, ed., Charlotte Perriand: Livre de Bord, 1928-1933, Basel, 2004, pp. 36-37 (for a discussion of the design process), 55, 60, 64-65, 68-71, 74-77, 82, 246-248, 278 (for a discussion of production variants) and folios 37-40 (for drawings and photos reproduced from Perriand’s log book)
Jacques Barsac, Charlotte Perriand, Complete Works, Vol. 3: 1956-1968, Zurich, 2017, pp. 122-123 and 129
The continuous and at times uncontrolled production of the iconic “Chaise Longue Basculante”, designed in 1928 by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand, makes it difficult to determine the production origin unless the models are classic, early pieces, or have extensively documented provenance. The few, earliest examples of the chaise longue were produced by Hour and Labadie. Thonet-Frères manufactured the model from 1930 onwards, and soon production was expanded to Thonet-Mundus, Thonet-Frères’ parent company. By 1934 the model was being licensed to companies in Czechoslovakia and Switzerland, including Embru, which produced the present model. Although production was halted during the war, by 1952, yet another manufacturer had come into play, the Swiss department store Wohnbedarf, who had been making the model without the designers’ knowledge. In 1965, the Italian company Cassina started to mass produce the model, together with three other designs by Le Corbusier, bringing the chair to fame and more accessible to wider audiences.
The present “Chaise Longue” is an early version of the model manufactured by Embru-Werke in the early 1930s, and differs from known Thonet variants in the rectangular, rather than oval, cross-section stretchers on the frame. The base has circular feet pads that distinguishes it from chairs of other manufacturers. Inspired by the Thonet rocking chairs and Jean Pascaud’s Surrepos lounge chair, the seating area freely reclines and its tubular steel structure allows for a smooth movement and multiple positions. The "Machine à repos" (or “resting machine”), as the designers used to call it, has since then become an icon of 20th century Design.