The Delaunays: Propeller

While Sonia Delaunay is recognized most often for her contributions to textile and fashion design, her career began and ended with painting. After diverging from painting to focus on textiles, she made a big return when her and her husband, Robert Delaunay, were requested to complete murals for the International Exposition in Paris is 1937. One of the paintings they were commissioned to do that gained a lot of attention was Helice, or Propeller in English, that was a large-scale work that measured twenty-three feet long and ten feet high. The background is an electrifying royal blue that highlights the luminescence of a three-blade propeller that almost appears to be circling around. Around the propeller are sets of gears and levers in bright complementary colors. Along with other murals, Propeller was created to highlight the strides being made in the transportation industry. It is an interesting take that the Delaunays created by incorporating their own love of color by depicting the mechanisms in vivid shades instead of the grey metal and rusty colors that we would normally associate with them. This mural collection was the Delaunays last claim to fame as a couple giving them success and acknowledgment before Robert passed away in 1941. After his death, she spent a few years working to make sure her husband received the recognition he deserved through setting up galleries of his work in his honor. Then she dove back into her painting with a series of abstract works called Rhythm Colores. Overall, these murals were a turning point for Sonia because they were the last partnership project she completed with her husband. She spent a great deal of her life fighting for not only for her own career but also advocating for her husband, but spent her resulting years focused on herself and her own passions. This led her to be the first female artist to receive a retrospective exhibit at the Louvre.


Jamie, K. (2015, March 27). Sonia Delaunay: The avant-garde queen of loud, wearable art. Retrieved from

Sonia Delaunay Artworks & Famous Art. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Sonia Delaunay. (n.d.). Retrieved from