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Robert Delaunay’s Red Tower

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Robert Delaunay’s Red Tower. Students view and create diamante poems. Champs de Mars. La Tour rouge. 1911. Art Institute of Chicago .

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Champs de Mars. La Tour rouge. 1911.

Art Institute of Chicago.

Oil on canvas63 1/4 x 50 5/8 in. (160.7 x 128.6 cm)Signed and dated, l.r.: "r.d. 1911"Inscribed on verso: "Champs de Mars / LA Tour rouge / 1911 / r. delaunay (epoque destructive)"Joseph Winterbotham Collection, 1959.1


Robert Delaunay

French painter

born April 12, 1885, Paris died Oct. 25, 1941, Montpellier, Fr

ROBERT DELAUNAY'S YOUTHRobert Delaunay was born April 12, 1885 in Paris (France) into a prominent French aristocratic family. When Robert was 4 years old, his parents divorced and he was subsequently raised by an aunt and uncle. Robert wasn't highly interested in school, so in 1903 he signed up for an apprenticeship in a studio for theater sets in Belleville.


Robert Delaunay painted things that were new and exciting about the world in which he lived.

American engineer George Ferris invented this popular carnival ride in 1893 for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. It was intended to show that American engineering could rival that of the French-designed and built Eiffel Tower.

The first Ferris wheel had thirty-six cars made of wood, and could hold up to sixty people. was 264’ high (almost as tall as a football field is long)!

The Eiffel Tower was erected in Paris in 1889 for the World’s Fair, and was the tallest building in the world at that time.

The Wright brothers had successfully flown the first biplane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903, only ten years before Delaunay’s painting.

In 1906, a permanent radio station was installed in the Tower


Robert Delaunay (1885-1941)Homage to Bleriot, 1914 76 1/2 x 50 1/2 inches Oil on canvas

The Blériot XI, on which Blériot crossed the Channel in 1909. Musée des Arts et Métiers, Paris

Louis Blériot (1 July 1872 – 2 August 1936) was a Frenchaviator, inventor and engineer


Delaunay’s Style of Painting is called -orphic cubism

The main idea about his orphism was that not the object defined the picture, but movement, light, and rhythm.

Dates: 1907-1914Key Artists: Pablo Picasso, Georges BraqueInfluences: Impressionists; Post Impressionists - Paul Cézanne Cubism was the first 'abstract' art style which began in the early 1900s when artists such as Georges Braque (French) and Pablo Picasso (Spanish) began painting in such a way that was far removed from traditional art styles. The Cubists tried to create a new way of seeing things in art. Many of their subjects, be they people or landscapes, were represented as combinations of basic geometric shapes - sometimes showing multiple viewpoints of a particular image. This approach was related more to the way we see images in our 'minds-eye' rather than in real life, that is if we close our eyes and try to see an image, perhaps of a friend or a family member, it is often hard to visualize the 'whole' image - we usually see parts or fractured pieces. Cubist pictures are therefore often described as looking like pieces of fractured glass.


Does Delaunay continue orphic cubistic style in these artworks?

How does he apply the color?

How does he apply the shapes?

How is the viewpoint different than a realist painter’s?

What objects does he repeat as a theme about his view of new technologies?

Do the colors he chose give us a sense of how he felt about them?

Robert DelaunayThe Cardiff Team, 1913Oil on canvas

The Three Windows, the Tower and the Wheel, 1912


What makes this picture the same or different from the other works we’ve seen of Delaunay’s?

Rainbow, 1913

Oil on canvas34 9/16 x 39 5/16 in. (87.8 x 99.9 cm)


ROBERT DELAUNAY'S LAST YEARSAfter the war, in 1921, Robert and his artist wife Sonjareturned 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



Did student incorporate a variety of drawing/collage materials?

Present a central theme of Today’s technology?

Create a feeling/mood that conveys motion or emergence through color and placement of elements?

Did the student emulate modernist compositional elements of Robert Delaunay’s work in their collages?