Robert Delaunay is an outstanding French artist of the early 20th century. The paintings of Robert Delaunay are distinguished by a special look at the essence of pictorial creativity. The genius worked in various genres of fine arts, together with his wife he became the founder of the avant-garde style of Orphism.
Biography of Robert Delaunay
Robert Delaunay, a native of Paris, was born on April 12, 1885. The father and mother of the child divorced early, and the upbringing of the boy fell on the shoulders of his uncle. It was he who contributed to the emergence of Robert’s love for painting. The uncle was a traditional artist, because of this, creative differences often arose with his nephew, who gravitated towards a different style of drawing. From a young age, instead of depicting predictable subjects, Robert preferred bold experiments in the spirit of avant-garde.
Robert Delaunay did not have a chance to receive a special art education, but he had a subtle color perception. This was facilitated by the fact that from childhood the native Parisian lived in an atmosphere of the sun and bright colors.
In the early creative period, the great Paul Cézanne had a great influence on the young painter, Robert became interested in impressionism and post-impressionism. Then, in 1912, he joined the Golden Section creative group, which united adherents of cubism. The artist paints a series of paintings depicting the urban landscape. Dissected forms here fit organically into expressive dynamic compositions.
But unlike the famous Cubists, Delaunay does not accept linear drawing.
He tries to avoid lines, break them, delimit images without using a contour. The master became interested in coloristic technique: he created forms on his canvases by correlating differently colored planes, and he formed the space thanks to tonal inconsistencies.
In 1910, after military service, Robert Delaunay got married. His chosen one was the artist Sonya Turk, Russian by birth. Soon the couple had a son, Charles. The couple were together until the death of the painter. This marriage became a catalyst for two creative people: Sonia enriched Delaunay’s color palette, and he introduced her to the world of abstraction. Spouses-painters came up with an unusual artistic concept.
Their avant-garde trend, a special kind of cubism, they poetically called “Orphism” in honor of the mythological hero – the legendary musician Orpheus. This painting was based on movement. Dynamics was obtained due to a combination of contrasting tones. Images arose from color combinations, organized in a special way. The circle was the most popular form on the canvas, within it new juicy colors were connected and appeared.
Since 1912, the young artist focused on non-objective painting.
Together with his wife, he developed the concept of simultanism (translated from French as “simultaneous”). It meant the interpenetration of the depicted objects, which was achieved through the play of light and color, an example of such creativity is the compositions of the “Windows” series. Many of Delaunay’s abstract works exclude metaphysical and psychological interpretation. In some works, abstract elements are combined with figurative forms.
Delaunay worked on previously discovered motifs In the 1920s, one of them was the image of the Eiffel Tower, he also paints portraits of friends. In the 1930s, the master again pays key attention to abstraction, his works are built on a group of circles, bright colors rotate inside them. The artist is also engaged in the creation of printed graphics, including posters, and prepares exhibits that adorned the World Exhibition held in 1937 in the French capital.
The last years of the artist’s life
In connection with the outbreak of the Second World War, Delaunay moved to the provincial Auvergne. By that time, his oncological disease had progressed, and on October 25, 1941, the painter died.
Robert Delaunay strove for perfection throughout his creative life, which he tried to embody with the help of color. The master achieved his goal, although illness and war prevented the further development of his work. Delaunay’s works are kept in museums all over the world, and the National Museum in Paris even assigned an entire hall to the work of this outstanding artist.