Robert Delaunay

Alternative Name(s): -
Date of Birth: April 12, 1885
Place of Birth: Paris, France
Date of Death: October 25, 1941
Focus: Painter
Art movement: Orphism, Cubism
Nationality: French

Famous Robert Delaunay Artwork

Robert Delaunay Biography

Robert Delaunay and his wife, painter Sonia Delaunay, were founders of an art movement, Orphism, in which color was the central visual feature. Concerned with shapes that were circular, Robert Delaunay was influenced by the Cubists; credited as the first painter of abstract forms composed of pure color as the dominant feature, his theories were instrumental in the evolution of abstract art.

His career began as an apprentice on sets for a theater group. By 1904, he was painting and had work exhibited in the prestigious Salon d’Automne. Through his painting, he became friendly with Henri Rousseau and other important artists. Moreover, the work of Paul Cezanne was a strong influence in his painting. Between 1909 and 1910 his own personal stylistic statement was evolving; he painted the first of his Eiffel Tower series during this time. Marrying a Russian painter, Sonia Terk, he found a collaborator as well.

As a friend of Vasily Kandinsky, Delaunay participated in shows within Germany, and was part of the first Blue Reiter exhibition in Munich. Other friends during this time include Albert Gleizes, Guillaume Apollinaire and Henri Le Fauconnier. It was in 1913 that his first Disc or Circular paintings were begun.

Moving to Spain and Portugal, his friends included Leonide Massine, Sergei Diaghilev, Diego Rivera and Igor Stravinsky. By 1918 he was designing sets for the Ballet Russes.

Still painting, he continued his Eiffel Tower series and created frescoes for Paris’s Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs and decorations for the Salon des Tuilleries.

His unique theory regarding color, “”Color alone is form and content,”" had a lasting influence on contemporary art.