By Namrata Jaiswal

Guided by Ms Monika Malik


Orphism also known as Simultaneism or Orphic-Cubism, this art movement was led by a couple, Robert and Sonia Delaunay in Paris. Orphism was an early 20th century movement which did not last for a long time but managed to leave an influential mark. This movement was named in 1912 by the French poet Guillaume Apollinaire which means light meeting shapes and the rhythm.

Robert Delaunay Endless Rhythm 1934 Image Source:

Orphism was inspired by cubism and colour theory combined. Although it was inspired by cubism in a lot of ways, it did not follow the same monochrome colour pallet. The artists used bright colours which helped the artists convey rhythm and movement through their artwork. Orphism was a great combination of art and music. Orphism was one such movement which took its inspiration from music and artists of orphism used to listen to music before creating their art pieces.


Robert Delaunay, Sonia Delaunay, Franz Marc and Frantisek Kupka were some of the famous and most influential artist during orphism. 

All artists of this time portrayed art & music, art & design, art & literature in their paintings through usage of geometric shapes and bright colours which gets into the viewers mind.

Let’s have a look at some famous artworks-

Robert Delaunay: The City of Paris (La Ville de Paris) (1910-12)
The City of Paris (La Ville de Paris by Robert Delaunay Image Source:
Sonia Delaunay – Rythme coloré, 1952
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Robert Delaunay – Homage to Bleriot, 1914
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Franz Kupka – Dynamic Disks, 1931-33
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Although Orphism was a very small art movement, it has influenced fashion immensely. Many designers still get inspiration from this art movement as it was a great combination of art with music design and literature. The originator of this movement Sonia Delaunay was also a great illustrator, have a look- 

Sonia Delaunay – Fashion Illustration, 1925
Image source

The whole concept of Orphism was to charm the senses with its contrasting colours mostly arranged in the form of circular discs . Orphism brought right amount of pop yet harmony on runway. It is one those art movement in which exploration with it’s art is endless. Designer like Junya Watanable debuted his “patchwork madness” as a tribute to Sonia Delaunay. Sonia Delauny and her husband Robert Delauny were a huge inspiration then and are a huge inspiration now. Earlier they use to open the doors of their home for the artists and displayed their work, mostly Sonia’s clothing designs to inspire them. Well they haven’t opened the doors of their home for us but they have surely opened the doors of inspiration for every designer.


Here are some runway looks-

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Hope the mystery of orphism was an interesting read.

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