Sonia Delaunay (14 November 1885 – 5 December 1979) was a French artist, who spent most of her working life in Paris. She formally trained in Russia and Germany before moving to France and expanding her practice to include textile, fashion, and set design. She co-founded the Orphism art movement, noted for its use of strong colours and geometric shapes, with her husband Robert Delaunay and others. She was the first living female artist to have a retrospective exhibition at the Louvre in 1964, and in 1975 was named an officer of the French Legion of Honor.
Her work in modern design included the concepts of geometric abstraction, and the integration of furniture, fabrics, wall coverings, and clothing into her art practice.
Sarah Ilinitchna Stern was most likely born on 14 November 1885 in Hradyzk, Poltava Oblast, then part of the Russian Empire. Her father was foreman of a nail factory. At a young age she moved to St. Petersburg, where she was cared for by her mother's brother, Henri Terk. Henri, a successful and affluent lawyer, and his wife Anna wanted to adopt her but her mother would not allow it. Finally in 1890 she was adopted by the Terks. She assumed the name Sonia Terk and received a privileged upbringing with the Terks. They spent their summers in Finland and travelled widely in Europe, introducing Sonia to art museums and galleries. When she was 16, she attended a well-regarded secondary school in St. Petersburg, where her skill at drawing was noted by her teacher. When she was 18, at her teacher's suggestion, she was sent to art school in Germany where she attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe. She studied in Germany until 1905 and then moved to Paris.
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