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Image of Female Nude Reading

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Female Nude Reading

Robert Delaunay, French, (April 12, 1885–October 25, 1941)

Creation date: 1915
Creation place: Spain

Other Information

Type: Oil Painting
Medium and Support: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: Museum purchase through the Earle W. Grant Acquisition Fund
Accession Number: 1979.20
State/Province: Madrid
Dimensions: 54 in. x 42 3/8 in. (137.16 cm x 107.63 cm)
Currently on view


Mrs. Robert Delaunay, Paris, France ( - )

Robert G. Osborne, Inc, New York, New York ( - 1979)

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Zadok, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1952 - ca. 1959)

Otto M. Gerson, (1959 - 1959)

Royal S. Marks, (1959 - )

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California (1979 - )

Label Copy

The Still-Life in the Twentieth Century
AP 2011
Single-minded in his pursuit of a ‘pure’ pictorial language based on bold chromatic contrasts, Delaunay turned away from the muted Cubist palette of Picasso and Braque and looked instead to the lessons of Matisse and his followers, who had pioneered an expressive and deliberately dissonant use of color. Delaunay’s language of luminous, abstract forms would be termed ‘Orphic’ by the critique Guillaume Apollinaire, a poetic evocation of the work’s ‘cosmic’ character.
Toeing the line of true abstraction, this painting belongs to the series of female nudes – exceptional among Delaunay’s oeuvre – executed in Spain, where the artist and his wife had withdrawn during World War I. The overlapping constellation of circular motifs at the edges of the picture are more typical of his work and recalls the so-called color-wheels of Michel Eugène Chevreul, the 19th century chemist whose theory of simultaneous contrasts had also been a touch-stone of Impressionism.
Last Updated: 6/20/2017


This object was included in the following exhibitions:

The Making of the American Art Museum: Civic Spirit, Patronage, Connoisseurship , 8/1/1981 - 10/1/1981

In Quest of Excellence: An Inaugural Tribute , 10/27/1983 - 6/28/1984

Modern Art: Selected Highlights San Diego Museum of Art , 10/20/2012 - 6/30/2013

Selections of Modern Art The San Diego Museum of Art , 7/23/2013 - 11/3/2013

American: Art of the 20th Century San Diego Museum of Art , 1/18/2014 - 8/26/2014

Art of the 20th Century , 3/28/2015 - 8/16/2015

Art of the 20th Century San Diego Museum of Art , 7/23/2016 - 00/00/00


This object has the following bibliographic references:

Ms. Mary Stofflet. San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 1993
Page Number: 178

Mr. Steven Kern. San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 2003
Page Number: 149, Figure Number: 149

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