Gouache and graphite on paper
9.5 x 7.8 inches (24,1 x 19,8 cm)
15.5 x 12.75 inches framed
signed lower right
Sonia Delaunay was born in Russia in 1885. Her art was one of the first expressions of abstract painting, and she influenced Paul Klee and preceded Mondrian and Matisse. Her 'Simultané' playing cards were completed in 1964. The court cards were conceived to express the essential nature of the figure represented rather than its meaning, traditionally conveyed by ornaments, emblems and symbols. Thus the figure of the king expresses virility by means of large, static rhomboidal forms; the femininity of the queen is characterised by rounded, mobile forms; the jack is distinguished by its restlessness, playful agility and boyishness. The headgear is the only traditional emblem maintained, deliberately so, for the pack of cards is an object intended for use, and not simply to satisfy the eye. As for the two jokers, Sonia Delaunay used as a basic design, but in a more abstract fashion, her Jazz compositions from 1952. This work is the original gouache created by the artist for the King of Hearts.