Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Life and work
As an artist, Delaunay concentrated on impressionism, while his later works were more abstract, reminiscent of Paul Klee. His key influence related to bold use of colour, and a clear love of experimentation of both depth and tone.
While he was still a child, Robert Delaunay's parents divorced, and he was raised by his uncle, in La Ronchère (near Bourges). He took up painting from an early age, and by 1903, he was producing mature imagery in a confident, impressionistic style. In 1908, after a term in the military (working as a regimental librarian), he met his later wife, Sonja Terk who at the time was still married to a German art dealer.
In 1909, Delaunay began to paint the series of studies of the city of Paris and the Eiffel Tower that he is now most famous for. The following year, he married Sonja Terk, and the couple settled in a studio apartment in Paris, where they later had a son.
The outbreak of the First World War found the couple vacationing in Spain, and they settled with friends in Portugal for the duration of the conflict. During this period, the couple took on several jobs designing costumes for the Madrid Opera , and Sonia Delaunay started a fashion design business of her own.
After the war, in 1921, they returned to Paris. Delaunay continued to work in a mostly abstract style. During the 1937 World's Fair in Paris, Delaunay participated in the design of the railway and air travel pavilions.
When World War II erupted, the Delaunays moved to the Auvergne, in an effort to avoid the invading German forces. Suffering from cancer, Delaunay was unable to stand being moved around, and his health deteriorated. He died October 25, 1941 in Montpellier.
- Quotes and images at artchive.com
- Entry at artcyclopedia.com
- Brief overview at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection site
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