Skip to main content Skip to Search Box

Definition: Delaunay, Robert from Philip's Encyclopedia

French painter, co-founder (with his wife Sonia Delaunay-Terk) of orphism. Delaunay was a major influence on der Blaue Reiter. Many of his works are abstract cityscapes, principally of his native Paris. The Eiffel Tower series is his most famous.

Summary Article: Delaunay, Robert
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

French painter. He was a pioneer of abstract art. With his wife Sonia Delaunay-Terk, he developed a style known as Orphism, an early variation of cubism, focusing on the effects of pure colour contrasts.

Working from the colour theories of the French chemist Michel Chevreul, Delaunay and his wife explored the simultaneous effects of light on disclike planes of radiant, contrasting colour, their aim being to produce a visual equivalent to music. Delaunay painted several series 1912, notably Circular Forms (almost purely abstract) and Simultaneous Windows (inspired by Parisian cityscapes). His art was described as ‘Orphist’ (essentially musical) by Guillaume Apollinaire. He carried out a huge decorative scheme (ten large reliefs in colour and a vast Rhythm) for the Palace of Air and Railway Pavilion of the Paris Exposition of 1937, and with other artists, including his wife, the Russian artist Sonia Delaunay-Terk, decorated the sculpture hall at the Salon des Tuileries 1938.

© RM, 2018. All rights reserved.

Related Articles

Full text Article Delaunay, Robert
Chambers Biographical Dictionary

1885-1941 French painter Born in Paris, he abandoned stage design for painting in 1905 and his first works are painted in a colourful Divisionist (Po

Full text Article Delaunay, Robert (1885 - 1941)
The Bloomsbury Guide to Art

From the very outset of his career, he was interested in the properties of colour, and his earliest works of 1906 show his...

Full text Article Delaunay, Robert (1885 - 1941)
The Macmillan Encyclopedia

His first major works represented the Eiffel Tower (1910-11) in cubist style but in his series of Discs (1912-13) he...

See more from Credo