82º Anniversary of death of Robert Delaunay

25 de October, 2023

Robert Delaunay – French artist who, together with his wife Sonia Delaunay and others, co-founded the Orphism art movement – ​​was born in Paris. He died on October 25, 1941, in Montpellier, aged 56, a victim of cancer.


He was educated by his maternal uncles, who introduced him, in a very classical way, to painting. Between 1902 and 1904, he worked as an apprentice at the Ronsin studios, specializing in painting for theater. However his artistic training was essentially self-taught, with the first canvases painted in Brittany, during the summer of 1903.


In 1907, he met Sonia Terk, whom he married three years later.

The couple of artists renowned by promoting Orphism lived for about a year in Portugal, during the period of the First World War, and became acquainted with the Portuguese artists Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso and Almada Negreiros, from who became friends.



It was in the summer of 1915 that the artist couple settled in Vila do Conde.



Sónia Delaunay’s stay in Portugal was the starting point of an exhibition about this artist, entitled «Sónia Delaunay – Simultaneous Fabrics», which the Soares dos Reis National Museum hosted in 2001, the year in which Porto was European Capital of Culture, aiming to illustrate the inspiration that Portugal represented in her work.



The exhibition focused on Sónia Delaunay’s work as a designer, with a large number of her designs for fabrics taking the main part of the exhibition.




(Cover) Robert Delaunay, 1905–06, Autoportrait, oil on canvas, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris

(Article) Exhibition Catalog «Sónia Delaunay – Simultaneous Fabrics», 2001/12/13 to 2002/02/24, Soares dos Reis National Museum, Porto [Commissioner – Petra Timmer; Coordination – Portuguese Institute of Museums (Manuela Correia, Anabela Carvalho and Maria Amélia Fernandes) and Soares dos Reis National Museum (Ana Paula Machado)