Robert Delaunay (French, 1885 - 1941)
1916. Oil on canvas, 53 1/2 x 61 3/8". 1991.001.010
Robert Delaunay belonged to a movement in French painting called Orphism, after Orpheus, a poet-musician of Greek mythology. Delaunay believed that the emotional impact of pure colors, like that of music, is immediate. The strong palette of The Portuguese Woman was inspired by the bright colors that Delaunay found in Portugal, where he lived from 1914 to 1917. Here, the concentric circles and parallel planes are derived from Cubism and may or may not be related to real objects.