• 1915
  • Glue, Canvas and Remounting canvas
  • Wax and Oil
  • Inv. PE114

Sonia Delaunay

Chanteurs Flamenco (dit Grand Flamenco)

Evoking the performance-based musical theme of flamenco, this Grand Flamenco by Sonia Delaunay makes the orphic circles, characteristic of her painting, dance to the hot rhythm of the “Spanish night”. The canvas will have been painted in Portugal, in the house in Vila do Conde where Sonia and Robert Delaunay resided during the summer of 1915.* Two works on paper, from 1915 and 1916, follow the same composition, exploring the treatment of the theme in a crescendo of abstraction, and reveal the artist’s interest for the visual representation of the canto jondo.

Sonia had already worked the relationship of light-colour/movement through dance in Le Bal Bullier, Paris, 1913, a painting that caused scandal, «probably the first time that a pure movement was portrayed in art without, like the futurists, breaking up form in a series of repetitions like a film».** As she would write in her autobiography many years later, the continuous and undulating rhythm of the tango provoked its colours to move, «the Bal Bullier was for me what the Moulin Rouge de la Galette was for Degas, Renoir, Lautrec. The rhythms gave us the desire to make the colours dance».***

In Spain, where she lived in the year immediately following the start of World War I, the representation of the flamenco show was a natural progression from the register of the cadences of the tango and foxtrot of Bal Bullier. Sonia attempted a chromatic interpretation of flamenco, establishing an interesting analogy between the circular movements of its choreography, kept close to the dancer’s body, and the dynamic imparted to the circles, which she “makes dance”. The bodies of the two performers emerge from this powerful idea of movement, generated by the juxtaposition of coloured semicircles, in keeping with the technique of simultaneous contrasts.

The canvas, with several repaints by the artist during the 1950s, has come to acquire an iconic status in the long and diverse artist production of Sonia Delaunay, in particular for the period between 1914 and 1921, «les grandes vacances» as she liked to refer to her years spent on the Iberian Peninsula.

This euphemism was not just an elegant way of referring to the non-participation of Robert Delaunay in the Great War. For Sonia, these years were in fact a time of creative happiness, in which she let herself be seduced by themes and images of popular culture, in whose visual transcription she applied the simultaneist investigations that she had previously carried out in Paris, and in which she explored new materials. The relationship between art and life, fundamental for modern artists, found another expression, particularly successful, in her activities as a designer of textiles, objects, theatre and dance figurines, activities that she developed when her financial stability, from an allowance that she received from Russia, came to an end in March 1917. With these new supports, the colours and luminous shapes created by this painter, who claimed the ancestry of the sun, came to be known, with major impact and by a significant number of people.


Ana Vasconcelos
Maio de 2010


* With their son Charles and the painters Eduardo Viana and Sam Halpert.

** Viveca Bosson, «Sonia Delaunay», in Sonia Delaunay, Lund, Skissernas Museum, 2007, p. 139.

*** Sonia Delaunay, Nous irons jusqu’au soleil, Paris, Robert Laffont, 1978, p. 36.

Sonia Delaunays Welt der Kunst
Bielefeld, Alemanha, Kunsthalle Bielefeld, 2008
Catálogo de exposição
Sonia Delaunay
Lund, Suécia, Skissernas Museum, 2007
Catálogo de exposição
La Nuit Espagnole - Flamengo, Avant-Garde et Culture Populaire 1865/1936
Paris, Paris Musées, 2008
Catálogo de exposição
The Spanish Night, Flamenco, Avant-Garde and Popular Culture 1865-1936
Madrid, Museu Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, 2008
Catálogo de exposição
La danza de los colores - En torno a Nijinsky y la abstracción
Madrid, Fundación Mapfre, 2009
Catálogo de exposição
Design Têxtil e de Moda de Sonia Delaunay
Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis
Curator: Petra Timmer
13 Dezembro 2001 a 24 Fevereiro 2002
PortoGaleria de exposições temporárias
Produção têxtil e de moda de Sonia Delaunay, nomeadamente nos anos 20 e 30, sublinhando o processo criativo desde a concepção à produção. Mostram-se desenhos preparatórios, recomendações escritas de Sonia, peças de vestuário, acessórios e amostras de têxteis. Exposição realizada na Galeria de Exposições Temporárias.
El Ultraismo y las Artes Plasticas
IVAM Centre Julio Gonzalez
Curator: A definir
Junho 1996 a Setembro 1996
Valência, Espanha
Inauguração do CAM
Curator: A definir
20 de Julho de 1983
Lisboa, Centro de Arte Moderna/ FCG
20 de Julho 1983.
Sonia e Robert Delaunay
Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
Curator: A definir
Abril 1972 a Maio 1972
Abril-Maio 1972
A Geração do 14. Novecentismo e Vanguardia nas Artes Plásticas Espanholas, 1906-1926
Fundación Cultural Mapfre
Curator: Pablo Jinénez Burillo
Exposição realizada em Madrid, 16 Abril - 16 Junho 2002.
La noche española. Flamenco, vanguarda y cultura popular 1865-1936
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Rainha Sofia
Curator: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Rainha Sofia
20 de Dezembro de 2007 a 24 de Março de 2008
5 de Julho de 2008 a 31 de Agosto de 2008
Petit Palais, Musée des Beuax-Arts de la Ville de paris
Comissários da exposição: Pedro G. Romero e Patrícia Molins. Exposição que relacionou as tradições populares associadas ao Flamengo através de pinturas, esculturas, gravuras, desenhos, fotografias e filmes.
Sonia Delaunay.Die internationale Moderne in Bielefeld von 1958-2008
Kunsthalle Bielefeld
Curator: Kunsthalle Bielefeld
24 de Março de 2009 a 31 de Maio de 2009
Moscovo, Pushkin Museum
30 de Novembro de 2008 a 22 de Fevereiro de 2009
Exposição retrospectiva da artista Sónia Delaunay, organizada pelo Kunsthalle Bielefeld.
La Nuit espagnole. Flamenco, Avant-Garde et Culture Populaire.
Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris
Curator: Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris
4 de Julho de 2008 a 31 de Agosto de 2008
O Petit Palais - Musée des Beaux Arts de la Ville de Paris está a organizar, em colaboração com o Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, a exposição "La Nuit espagnole. Flamenco, Avant-Garde et Culture Populaire", que será apresentada de 4 de Julho a 31 de Agosto de 2008.
Marc, Macke, Delaunay. The Beauty of a Fragile World (1910-1914)
Susanne Meyer-Büser
Curator: Susanne Meyer-Büser
29 de Março de 2009 a 9 de Agosto de 2009
O Sprengel Musem Hannover organizou a exposição "Marc, Macke, Delaunay - The Beauty of a Fragile World (1910-1014)", para demonstrar a estimulante interacção entre três artistas do Modernismo da Alemanha e França.
Celebración del Arte. Médio siglo de la Fundación Juan March
Fundación Juan March
Curator: Fundación Juan March
7 de Outubro de 2005 a 22 de Janeiro de 2006
Fundación Juan March, Madrid
Exposição organizada para comemorar o 50º aniversário da Fundación Juan March.
Las Palabras de la Pintura
Centro Galego de Arte Contemporáneo
Curator: Centro Galego de Arte Contemporáneo
8 de Outubro de 2004 a 12 de Dezembro de 2004
Centro Galego de Arte Contemporânea, Santiago de Compostela
Exposição dedicada à exploração de algumas relações entre o texto escrito e pintura, usando o livro de arte como género.
Sonia Delaunay - Tecidos Simultâneos
Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis
Curator: Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis
13 de Dezembro de 2001 a 14 de Fevereiro de 2002
Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis
Exposição de design têxtil e de moda de Sonia Delaunay.
La danza de los colores - En torno a Nijinsky y la abstracción
Humbertus Gassner
Curator: Fundación Mapfre
2009-10-07 a 2009-12-20
Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburgo
Exposição comissariada por Humbertus Gassner e Daniel Koep.
Updated on 01 may 2023

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