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Acquired from the artist by the grandfather of the present owner.
Please note that the present work is recorded in the following book:
- P. Francastel & G. Habasque, Robert Delaunay, Du cubisme à l'art abstrait, documents inédits suivis du catalogue raisonné, Paris 1958, no. 14, p. 247.
Please note the following additional exhibition information:
- Paris, Salon de la Société des artistes Indépendants, May 1905.
- Leverskusen, Städisches Museum Morsbroich, Robert Delaunay, June-July 1956, no. 7. This exhibition later travelled to Freiburg, Kunstverein, July-August 1956.
ROBERT AND SONIA DELAUNAY (1885-1941 AND 1885-1979)
Robert and Sonia Delaunay were from very different backgrounds both in life and in their art. Sonia was born in the Ukraine but studied art from a young age in a number of institutions in Russia as well as abroad. In contrast, Robert was self-taught, stealthily learning to draw on his own, hiding his progress from his teachers and his mother, a member of the French nobility. He left school and became a stage-painter for two years, consolidating his abilities and artistic beliefs. Only two years after that, he was exhibiting works at the Salon des Indépendants where his early works were Impressionistic.
Robert played a part in the dawning of Cubism, especially in his depictions of the Eiffel Tower (painted at least seven times between 1909 and 1911) and Paris in general. He became the first true painter of modernity, depicting biplanes and other feats of mechanical innovation, celebrating above all the modern metropolis. Strongly influenced by Eugène Chevreuil's book on his theories of light and colour contrast, which placed blocks of colour in a strategic manner in order to contrast them. In these 'simultaneous' contrasts, colour itself was the object of the painting and was seen by Robert Delaunay as a better means of depicting mobility than the rendering of displaced objects. The contrast between the fields of colour generates a sense of depth and movement and thereby becomes a depiction of the raw energy of modernity. Sonia, meanwhile, was also painting in Paris, though influenced by the Fauvist style. She and Robert married and became a formidable artistic duo. Forging together a revolutionary style, their work was christened 'Orphism' by Guillaume Apollinaire after his poetic work the Cortège d'Orphée. Sonia translated Orphism into many different media, creating 'simultaneous dresses', textiles and stage designs. During the First World War, while the Delaunays were in Madrid, she even opened a shop selling 'simultaneous' accessories.
After the First World War, the Delaunays returned to Paris where they continued to create 'simultaneous' works. Sonia's paintings, which had formerly retained a flavour of Fauvism, became increasingly abstract, taking on the wheel and helix forms associated with her husband's work and with Orphism in general. In 1931 Sonia almost entirely abandoned the design side of her work, returning exclusively to painting for many years. Orphism continued to evolve in both artists' works, and after Robert's death in 1941, Sonia bore the mantle alone, pushing Orphism onto the world stage increasingly earning prestige for almost four more decades.
Pierre Francastel & Guy Habasque, Robert Delaunay, Du cubisme à l'art abstrait, documents inédits suivis du catalogue raisonné, Paris 1958, no. 14 p. 247.
Paris, Salon de la Société des artistes Indépendants, May 1905.
Leverskusen, Städisches Museum Morsbroich, Robert Delaunay, June-July 1956, no. 7. This exhibition later travelled to Freiburg, Kunstverein, July-August 1956.