Robert Delaunay

Robert Delaunay

Delaunay was a French artist who used Orphism, (which is similar to abstract art) abstraction and cubism in his work. Delaunay concentrated on Orphism, while his later works were more abstract, reminiscent of Paul Klee. His key influence related to bold use of color, and a clear love of experimentation of both depth and tone.

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Robert Delaunay – Circular Forms

Robert Delaunay - Circular Forms

Robert Delaunay – City of Paris

Robert Delaunay - City of Paris

Robert Delaunay – The Great Portuguese

Robert Delaunay - The Great Portuguese

Robert Delaunay Biography

During the period between 1908-10, he contributed to the Cubist artistic movement by producing striking colorful works instead of the fashionable browns and greys of Picasso and Braque. His imagery was also different and he chose dynamic urban imagery rather than static still-life forms which was the conventional subject matter at the time. One of his most celebrated works, the ‘Eiffel Tower’ combined the Cubist form with vivid colors. In fact, The Eiffel Tower was one of Delaunay’s favorite subjects and is one of the most recognized symbols of that new age.

After 1912, he depicted his work through more rectangular and circular abstract shapes where he completed the Fenetres series and the Disks. Some of these paintings could be considered Abstract, but they contain an insistent strain of cosmic symbolism. Brilliant light and colour are enhanced by “simultaneous contrast”, an effect of juxtaposition in which colour is a primary element. his work was shown at a solo exhibition in the prestigious Sturm Gallery in Berlin the following year, to great interest from painters like Franz Marc, Auguste Macke, and Wassily Kandinsky, as well as on Paul Klee, Fernand Leger, and Marc Chagall.

While his life was quite complex and unnatural, his paintings were full of power and he fully explored the use of light and color. his perseverance and dedication to art seem at times more admirable than his art itself, for he inundated himself in the realm of art and almost transformed it into a science to create precise, well-calculated paintings.

Nonetheless, these paintings are beautiful, provocative, and considered essential to any major collection of modern art Robert Delaunay is likely never to be considered a master since, alone, he never sent art in a completely new direction. Yet his distinctive and unique style undoubtedly pushed art forward. Delaunay and his wife, Sonia Terk Delaunay, worked on a large, impressive abstract mural together for the Paris Exposition in 1937. He died a few years later in 1941.