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Robert Delaunay

1885, Paris (France) – 1941, Montpellier (France)

Robert Delaunay began his professional career at the age of 17 in the studio of the theatre designer Eugène Ronsin; there he developed a taste for the monumental and learned about the role of light and tricks of perspective on the stage.

– 1904: he produces his first paintings depicting flowers and landscapes.

– 1907: in Paris he becomes acquainted with a group of young artists, including Gleizes, Metzinger, Le Fauconnier and Léger.

– 1909: influenced by Cézanne, Robert Delaunay’s cubist period begins. He adopts a principle of representation involving the disintegration of the form. For Delaunay, the image should burst into individual fragments, each following a different line of perspective. His aim is to create the illusion of movement through colour. By juxtaposing polychromatic shades he can obtain what he terms « vibrations ».

– 1912: from this date on, Robert Delaunay makes his mark in the history of art through the creation of « Orphic » Cubism, based on the principle of deconstructing forms using light.

– 1930: Delaunay’s second main creative period. Delaunay, and his wife Sonia Delaunay, believe in total art. Everything must be art, from interiors to clothing. He devises frescoes for adorning the walls of certain sites. He designs the decor of two pavilions for the 1937 World Fair in Paris and in 1938, in collaboration with Sonia Delaunay, Albert Gleizes and Jacques Villon, creates monumental canvases for the sculpture hall of the Salon des Tuileries.

Robert Delaunay is one of the greatest names of modern art. His works, such as his imposing vision of the Eiffel Tower in a cascade of colours, have passed into the collective memory and are represented in the most important modern art collections around the world.