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Sonia Delaunay (November 14, 1885 – December 5, 1979

Sonia Delauney...Paris, 1905.

To be an artist in Paris in 1905 and be 20 years old!

Do you know what it means for an artists to be in Paris in 1905 and 20 years old? Sonia Delaunay lived this! And she was not only an exhuberant young girl but she could also speak different languages (Russian, her mother tongue spoken in her native village in the Odessa region, Ukraine, and St.Petersburg where she grew up; German - she spent two years at the Karlsruhe University - and French, the language of culture and art by then). The Jewish origin explain this wide-ranging skills and intelligence and connections...

It goes by itself that she was in touch and/or befriended the greatest names in modern art: Picasso, Braque, , Matisse, Klee, Kandisky..you name them! Oh, and of course the BIG names of the fashion history, Gabriel "Coco" Chanel in primis.

Van Gogh's and Gauguin's paintings were also influential to her.

She contributed as an artist to the path down to abstract art (Abstraction-Création-Group,Espace group) from the Matisse color lesson down to the fauvism, Orphism - which she created with her husband Robert Delaunay - and was a key figure in the art-deco movement and fashion.

Color is the keyword to be used.

"Colour excited me. I didn't attempt to analyze what I was doing. These were things that came from inside me" (quoted in H. Duchting, Robert and Sonia Delaunay: The Triumph of Colour, Cologne, 1994)

"I am attracted by pure colours. Colours from my childhood, from the Ukraine. Memories of peasant weddings in my country, in which the red and green dresses decorated with many ribbons, billowed in dance. Memories of an album of folk costumes brought from Sweden by my uncle" (quoted in Sonia Delaunay: A Retrospective, exh. cat., Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, 1980, p. 213).

In short, Sonia Terk-Delaunay (as some tend to call her today to separate her from her more globally famous husbad Robert Delaunay. Terk is the name of her uncle who adopted her when she was a child and exposed her to art) is a very famous female modern artist and the first woman who had a solo retrospective at the Louvre Museum in Paris in 1964.

sonia delaunay painting
Philomene, 1907. Color is flat, not even she uses chiaroscuro. Source


sonia delaunayJeune fille endormie, 1907


sonia delauneyPortrait de Charles de Rochefort, 1908 ; oil on canvas
24 x 19½ in. (61 x 49.5 cm.) . Flat colors again, and a "typical" floral decoration on the wall

He was a French silent film actor, and film director , (e.g. The mask of horror, Fille du Peuple, The Spanish Jade, The Ten Commandments and in many Max Linder's films)




sonia delauney 1907Philomene, 1907, "...represent the artist's greatest painterly achievements during her early career." Christies

Philomene... 'It was from that very strong desire to go past Fauvism that my works from that epoch were born' - Sonia Delaunay (quoted in Sonia Delaunay, exh. cat., Buffalo, 1980, p. 18)


More Christies auctions here


sonia delaunay

From dressspace.org


sonia delaunay
From Picassomio


sonia delaunay fabricsfabrics from the Art Institute of Chicago



sonia delaunay fashion modelsFrom Fashionclub-blog a selection of her dresses like these ones...Never seen those silent movies?



Works by her husband Robert and interesting discussion(French Forum)



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Source: Christies

A good online biography from the Jewish Woman Encyclopedia website






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