Les grandes dames de l’art

Sonia Delaunay
28.04.2022

Fanny Michaëlis, Sonia Delaunay, 2022
© Fanny Michaëlis

The podcast “Les grandes dames de l’art” (“Great women of art”) gives a voice to the women artists of the 20th century. They talk about their work, their life, the world around them, and their achievements. Let us go in search of their presence, their secrets. Let us rediscover the hidden stories of women artists through their voices.

For this second season, we open a new chapter that plunges us into the Paris of the inter-war period, the decade that became notoriously known as the Roaring Twenties. What did the wildness of this decade consist of? It is largely due to women who flourished in this welcoming capital, lived their lives as they wanted, and became artists on equal footing with men. They played a primordial role in the construction of modernity, and we are rediscovering them today.

One of them is Sonia Delaunay, born in 1885 in Gradizhsk (today in Ukraine), and raised by her uncle in Saint Petersburg in an artistic environment. She chose to move to Paris at the age of 20, convinced by the importance of this city. She met Robert Delaunay. They married and settled in Madrid and then in Portugal until their return to Paris in 1920.

For a very long time, Sonia Delaunay remained in the shadow of her husband, even though they did everything together. For example, in 1911 they established Orphism: a pictorial movement characterized by the use of bright colors and geometric shapes. She had an artistic career of her own, and also painted and created numerous decorative arts objects and textiles. She was an important woman in the art world of her time. In 1964, an exhibition of her works was organized at the Musée du Louvre. She was one of the first women to have had such a retrospective in her lifetime.

“Les grandes dames de l’art” is a podcast produced by AWARE: Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions, in collaboration with the INA, with the support of Maison Veuve Clicquot and the Ministry of Culture.

Coordinated by: Mathilde de Croix and the AWARE team
Directed by: Élodie Royer
Music by: Juliano Gil
Credits and Sound Editing: Basile Beaucaire
Scientific Advisors: Catherine Gonnard and Véronique Jolivet
Translation: Beth Gordon
French Voice: Camille Morineau

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