Sonia Delaunay
Women in Judaism ~ Women in Judaism - Artist, designer and printmaker

Sonia Delaunay

For me there is no gap between my painting and my so-called decorative work. I never considered the minor arts to be artistically frustrating; on the contrary, it was an extension of my art.

Delaunay was one of the most accomplished of Jewish women artists who adeptly moved between artistic disciplines, including art and modern design. After training at the Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe, Germany she moved to Paris in 1905. Her early art work demonstrated naturalistic tendencies but she later moved towards abstraction in both art and then design and did notable work designing the costumes for the famous Ballet Russes in 1918. In the 1920s, Delaunay moved away from art to concentrate more on design of scenery, costumes and textiles amongst others and during this period her output was prolific. During the 1930s her work was divided between interior decorating and fashion design amongst others. With her husband Robert Delaunay and others she co-founded the Orphism or Orphic Cubism movement, a version of Cubism. She was the first female living artist to have a retrospective at the Louvre. She is also credited with introducing the concept of prêt-à-porter (ready-to-wear) and first communicated it at the Sorbonne in 1927 in her talk entitled, The Influence of Painting on the Art of Clothing. As attested by the above quote, she did not see art and the other decorative and craft-based activities as mutually exclusive, far from it. Part of her legacy was to break down the barriers between these areas and her creativity and vision has had a significant impact throughout the 20th century.

There is one, excellent book on her life written by Stanley Baron - Sonia Delaunay: The Life of an Artist.

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