What is Orphism? The Modern Art Movement Explained

Sonia Delaunay-Terk, Rhythme, 1938. 

Art critic and poet Guillaume Apollinaire first encountered a group of Robert Delaunay’s canvases of swirling, colorful, and largely non-representational shapes in 1912. Apollinaire immediately connected the works to the multidisciplinary Ancient Greek singer and poet Orpheus, around whom developed a Mystery Cult called Orphism. Orphists believed that Orpheus used music to enter the otherwise-inaccessible underworld. Music, according to this understanding, had otherworldly powers, and could be injected into other art forms to enhance their effects.

Apollinaire co-opted the term Orphism to describe how Delaunay, and soon a group of other like-minded artists, borrowed elements from music and science to inject powerful sensations into their paintings. The results helped pave the way for abstract art as we now know it.

Read the full article here…