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Eiffel Tower

c. 1925
Robert Delaunay (French, 1885–1941)

This tall, narrow canvas presents the Eiffel Tower rising above historical sites and monuments of Paris, and crowned by vortices of red, yellow, blue, and green. Robert Delaunay derived the attenuated nude figure on the left from a postcard showing an ancient fresco of the Three Graces in a Naples museum. The figure stands for classical beauty in juxtaposition with the modern tower. Through repeated renderings, the Eiffel Tower became not only a personal emblem for the artist but also the incarnation of the ethos he called Simultanism, which affirmed a fusion of the creative mind with the experience of modern life, rooted in industrial architecture, mass communication, and the metropolis. Delaunay infused those modern subjects with the dynamism of bold color contrasts.

This picture was a study for a panel that adorned an architectural project at the 1925 Paris International Exposition, which popularized the modern design style of Art Deco.

Object Details

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