French painter, born in Paris. He started painting c.1904 and his early works move rapidly through the color theories of Chevreul, the space concepts of Cézanne and Braque, and his interest in optics. In 1912 he arrived at a formula of brilliantly colored abstractions with only the most tenuous roots in naturalistic observation. In 1909 he began the Eiffel Tower series. In 1911-1912 he exhibited with Der Blaue Reiter Group in Munich and in 1912 at Der Sturm Gallery in Berlin. This early contact with the German avant-garde, and especially the paintings and writings of Kandinsky, helped to make Delaunay one of the first French artists to embrace abstraction. He also joined the Cubists at the highly controversial Salon des Indépendants of 1911, where Apollinaire declared his painting the most important work in the show. Also in 1912 he began the Window series, in which pure planes of color, fractured by light, eliminate any vestiges of reality. In 1912 Apollinaire named the abstract experiments of Delaunay, Léger, Kupka, and others Orphism, a style based on the invention of new structures. In his Disk paintings of 1913 Delaunay abandoned even the pretense of subject, creating arrangements of vividly colored circles and shapes. Married the painter Sonia Terk in 1910 and they lived in Spain and Portugal during the First World War.