Type of abstract or semi-abstract painting practised by a group of artists in Paris between 1911 and 1914. Orphism owed much to the fragmented forms of cubism (indeed it is sometimes called Orphic cubism). However, while cubism at this time was coolly intellectual and almost colourless, Orphism used lush and exciting colour. The name Orphism was first used in 1913 by the poet and art critic Guillaume Apollinaire, alluding to Orpheus, the poet and singer in Greek mythology; it indicated that the Orphists wanted to introduce a feeling of poetry to the serious and strict approach to cubism, as practised by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso. The central figure of Orphism was Robert Delaunay, and other artists in his circle included Marcel Duchamp, Fernand Léger, Francis Picabia, and the Czech-born Franz Kupka. Initially the Orphists based their pictures on the external world (Delaunay, for example, did a series of paintings featuring the Eiffel Tower), but by 1912 both Delaunay and Kupka (whose work was very similar at this time) were painting pure abstracts. These were the first abstracts painted by French artists.
The Orphist group was broken up by World War I, but in spite of its short life it had considerable influence. Several of the German expressionists, notably Paul Klee, August Macke, and Franz Marc, were greatly impressed with Delaunay's paintings (Klee visited him in Paris in 1912), and they adopted aspects of his style in their work, particularly his use of colour. Orphism was also very similar to Synchromism, a movement founded in 1912 by Stanton Macdonald-Wright and Morgan Russell, two US artists living in Paris. Their work helped to spread Delaunay's type of vibrantly colourful abstract painting to the USA.
A romantic or expressive offshoot of Cubism . Apollinaire applied the name to the works exhibited by Delaunay , Duchamp , Picabia and...
a short-lived movement in art founded in 1912 by Robert Delaunay, Frank Kupka, the Duchamp brothers, and Roger de la Fresnaye. Apollinaire coined th
Trend in Cubism that gave priority to colour. Its name, bestowed in 1912 by Guillaume Apollinaire, recalls not only the legendary Orpheus but the S