DETAIL : COLOGNE SCHOOL Germany Virgin and Child with Saints [Triptych of the Virgin and Child with Saints (left panel) Virgin and Child with Saints (left panel)]
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97876
Sonia
DELAUNAY
Dubonnet
 
Sonia DELAUNAY
Ukraine 1885 – France 1979
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Dubonnet 1914
distemper on canvas
103.1 (h) x 133.6 (w) cm
frame 137.2 (h) x 168.1 (w) x 8.0 (d) cm
signed l.r., water-based paint, "Sonia DELAUNAY", dated verso, pen-and-ink on paper label, "Mai 1914"
Purchased 1985
NGA 1985.225
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Biography

Born in the Ukranian village of Gradizhsk on 14 November 1885, Sonia Stern took the name Terk after 1890 when she was adopted by her uncle Henri Terk, a St Petersburg lawyer. In 1905 she arrived in Paris and enrolled at the Académie de la Palette. She exhibited Fauve paintings at her first solo exhibition at Galerie Notre-Dame-des-Champs, Paris, in 1908. After a brief marriage to the German art critic and dealer Wilhelm Uhde, she married Robert Delaunay in 1910. As well as painting, she designed fabrics, bookbindings, posters and furnishings. Between 1914 and 1920 the Delaunays lived in Portugal and Spain where Sonia Delaunay was commissioned by Serge Diaghilev to design costumes for the ballet Cleopatra, which opened in London in October 1918. She also opened a shop in Madrid, the 'Casa Sonia', which sold lampshades, parasols, handbags and other items of her own design. Returning to Paris, she designed costumes for Tristan Tzara's play Le coeur à gaz (The gas heart) in 1923, and received commissions for fabric designs. In 1925 her fabrics were shown at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industrieles Modernes, Paris. With her husband she worked on a series of murals for the Exposition Internationale, Paris, in 1937, receiving a gold medal for this project. She was a founding member of Réalities Nouvelles, a Paris-based group dedicated to abstract art. A number of retrospective exhibitions of her work were held in the post-war years: in 1959 (with Robert Delaunay) at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyons; in 1964 (with Robert Delaunay) at the Musée du Louvre, Paris; in 1967 at the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris; in 1977 at the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris. In 1975 Delaunay was awarded the Legion of Honour. She died on 5 December 1979 in Paris.

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