Le gitan (The Gypsy)

Robert Delaunay

Paris, France, 1885 - Montpellier, France, 1941

Robert Delaunay was deeply involved in developing Cubism in France with a personal style — dubbed Orphism by Guillaume Apollinaire — that would run into abstraction around 1912. During the First World War he moved between Spain and Portugal with his wife, the artist Sonia Terk, and together they singularly worked in avant-garde circles in Madrid and Barcelona, in particular with the Ultraist group, Ramón Gómez de la Serna and Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes company. During his time on the Iberian Peninsula, Delaunay experimented with a return to figuration, yet without losing sight of the vibrant colouring and abstract forms of his previous work. One of his references in this return will be the work of El Greco, with whom he will become familiar in Madrid and Toledo. In Le gitan (The Gypsy), inspired by his Saint Sebastian, Delaunay deconstructs the figure of the model into a Cubist idiom, placing it before an abstract background with geometric forms characteristic of Orphism.

Raúl Martínez Arranz