Robert Delaunay: Artist Portrait

Robert Delaunay

Born 1885. Died 1941.
Interested in selling a work by Robert Delaunay ?
Request an Estimate

Works by Robert Delaunay at Sotheby's

Past Lots

Robert Delaunay Biography

In the years leading up to the First World War, French painter Robert Delaunay, along with his wife Sonia, launched the Orphism movement, which synthesized the geometric abstraction of Cubism with the staunch, chromatic juxtapositions of Post Impressionism and the vibrant, acidic colors of Fauvism. He consistently retained a level of figuration in his paintings, integrating iconic symbols from modern life, such as airplanes and the Eiffel Tower, into his abstracted fields of color.

Born in Paris, France, in 1885 to an affluent family, Delaunay first apprenticed in theater design, and studied the decorative arts in Belleville, before contributing six works to the Salon des Indépendants in 1904 at the young age of 19. Following his first foray into the Parisian art scene, he joined the Parisian avant-garde, developed close friendships with Wassily Kandinsky and Fernand Léger, and exhibited often with Jean Metzinger, all the while producing works that greatly influenced later movements such as Futurism and Divisionism. After marrying Sonia Delaunay (née Terk) in 1909, his career expanded significantly; he showed in Blue Rider exhibitions in France, Germany, Russia and Switzerland, and his works garnered particular attention for their prismatic vision of geometry and color. During the First World War, the Delaunays fled to Madrid, Spain, where they were given significant patronage by Sergei Diaghilev: Robert designed the stage sets for Diaghilev’s 1917 production of Cleopatra, and Sonia designed the costumes. Upon their return to Paris following the end of the War, Delaunay briefly experimented with Dadaism and Surrealism, following encouragement from André Breton. Traveling to escape the dangers of the Second World War wore considerably on the artist’s body, which was then suffering from cancer, and likely quickened his 1941 death.

Delaunay’s works occupy the collections of major museums around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Centre Pompidou, Paris, the Kunstmuseum Basel, and many others.

Read More

Robert Delaunay Videos and Stories

Museums with Works by Robert Delaunay

We use our own and third party cookies to enable you to navigate around our Site, use its features and engage on social media, and to allow us to perform analytics, remember your preferences, provide services that you have requested and produce content and advertisements tailored to your interests, both on our Site as well as others. For more information, or to learn how to change your cookie or marketing preferences, please see our updated Privacy Policy & Cookie Policy.

Close
Artist Image: Guillaume Piolle
Please note that prior performance of the indexes and realized returns contained herein does not guarantee future results. In addition, there is no guarantee that random collections of individual works of art or stocks will yield index returns. We are not financial advisors and we are not in the business of recommending art as an investment. We also have no comparative advantage in forecasting the future direction of the art market. Investment decisions should be based on the risk return tolerance and time horizon of the investor with, if desired, the support of a licensed financial advisor. This information is provided "as is" and with no representations or warranties either express or implied of accuracy, merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose or of any other nature are made with respect to this information or to any expressed views presented in this information.