Robert Delaunay

Robert Delaunay (1885-1941) was at the heart of the Parisian avant-garde in the first decades of the twentieth century. He and his wife, the painter and designer Sonia Delaunay, lived on the same street as Picasso, socialised with other artists and poets such as Rousseau, Léger and Appollinaire; and made their own distinctive contribution the explosive artistic experiments of the age. Delaunay was seen as a founder of ‘orphism’. The term, derived from the Greek mythological figure Orpheus, was intended to suggest a deep and instinctive urge to create art. Delaunay preferred the designation ‘simultanism’, but in his youth he was certainly orphic in his methods. He would paint in frenzied bouts of activity, during which he stayed in the studio every waking moment, not stopping to eat or wash or engage with the outside world.