Art: Delaunay's Flying Discs

For most of the 35 years since he died of cancer in 1941, Robert Delaunay has been an anomaly, slightly blurred in silhouette—the Cubist Who Wasn't. He painted the Eiffel Tower over and over again. He made a series of compositions based on brightly banded circles, one of which—The First Disc, 1912—is almost certainly the first abstract picture painted in France by a Frenchman. Born in 1885, a few years after Braque and Picasso, he tended to be conventionally pigeonholed by art historians as one of their more gifted epigones. And yet, as one...

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