ROBERT DELAUNAY: THE PIONEER OF ORPHISM
Incorporating faceted compositions, vibrant color, and contemporary subject matter that together coveted delight in the modern life and its technological innovations, the unique style of the French artist, Robert Delaunay, is best known for introducing vibrant color into Cubism, and thereby originated the trend eventually known as Orphism.
An important figure in 20th-century art, Delaunay was born on April 12, 1885, in Paris, into a prominent family. An uninspired student, Delaunay did not pursue an education and instead apprenticed himself to a theater designer and painted only part-time. But soon he came under the influence of the Neo-Impressionists' use of color.
By 1910, Delaunay had made his own contribution to Cubism in two series of painting, cathedrals and the “Eiffel Tower”, which combined fragmented Cubist form with dynamic movement and vibrant color. This new and individual use of pictorial rhythms and color harmonies had an immediate appeal to the senses and, combined with the poetic subject matter, distinguished him from the more orthodox Cubist painters.
In 1910, Delaunay married to a young artist Sonia Terk, who adopted his Orphic style and collaborated with him for the 30 years. The couple had an immediate influence on the work of Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), a Munich-based group of Expressionist painters.
In 1912, Delaunay found his way toward completely nonobjective painting when he made his “Color Disks” and “Windows” series of paintings. Together with his wife, Delaunay worked on large and impressive abstract mural decorations for the Paris Exposition of 1937.
Delaunay's last works were the decorations for the sculpture hall of the Salon des Tuileries in 1938.
Delaunay died on October 25, 1941, in Montpellier, France.