Simultaneous Contrasts: Sun and Moon

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Robert Delaunay, Simultaneous Contrasts: Sun and Moon, 1913
By EMMA SHAPIRO

Orphism, sometimes considered a one-man movement, began with Robert Delaunay around 1910. He focused on the musical undertones of the world and the ripples, planes, and colors incorporated within. He purposefully strayed from subject matter and stylistic rules. He removed the primary focuses from art, such as illusion of depth, compositional balance, and iconic and textural elements, as much as possible while still retaining the idea of the work. 


The interaction of colors fascinated him. In Simultaneous Contrasts: Sun and Moon, Delaunay depicts the rhythms of the universe, the circular frame representing the universe. He uses an array of reds,oranges, blues, and greens to show the contrast of the sun and moon and the rotation of day and night. Delaunay said that, "The breaking up of form by light creates colored planes. these colored planes are the structure of the picture, and nature is no longer a subject for description but a pretext." Delaunay believed that the fusion and unity of color symbolized the possibility of a harmonic modern world. He did not think of his works as still pieces of art but rather as workls constantly moving with light waves, sound waves, and the tiny particles of the newly prominent scientific ideas of his era. 



Robert Delaunay prided himself in his dissimilar techniques to other artists. Next to Robert Delaunay's signature on Simultaneous Contrasts: Sun and Moon, Delaunay put the date "1912". Viewers now know that the creation of the painting had actually been in 1913, but he dated it earlier to appear avante-garde.

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