Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Rhythm No. 2 (Rhythme II)

Photo: Mark Woods

Rhythm No. 2 (Rhythme II)


Robert Delaunay

French, 1885 - 1941

Robert Delaunay was one of the pioneers of Orphism, a term coined by French poet Guillaume Apollinaire in 1912 to describe an offshoot of Cubism that emphasized the
relationship between color, abstract form, and music. Delaunay himself noted that he aimed to produce “pure painting” which was based solely on these relationships. In Rhythm No. 2, he achieves a heightened level of abstraction characterized primarily by fractured space and color, the swirling disk-like forms reminiscent of a pulsing musical beat.
Oil on canvas
64 1/4 x 51 1/2 in. (163.2 x 130.8 cm)
Gift of Gladys and Sam Rubinstein
Provenance: The artist (inventory no. F640); private collection, Basel, Switzerland; [Galerie Gmurzynska, Cologne, Germany, 1984]; purchased from gallery by Gladys (1921-2014) and Sam Rubinstein (1917-2007), Seattle, Washington,1984; bequeathed to Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington, 2014
Photo: Mark Woods
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistoryParis, France, Palais des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris, Premier Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, 1946.

Paris, France, Grand Palais, Salon des Artistes Indépendants, 1954.

Liège, Belgium, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Robert Delaunay, 1955.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Modern in Europe: Featuring Selections from the Collection of Gladys & Sam Rubinstein, Nov. 5, 2004 - Apr. 17, 2005.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Paintings and Drawings of the European Avant-Garde: The Rubinstein Bequest, Apr. 23, 2014 - May 16, 2021.
Published ReferencesHabasque, Guy. Catalogue de l’oeuvre de R. Delaunay. Paris, 1957. Cat. no. 341, p. 224, reproduced no. 16.

Degand, L. “Langage et signification de la Peinture.” In Architecture Aujourd’hui, reproduced p. 108. Boulogne, France: 1956.

Dorival, Bernard. Robert Delaunay, 1885-1941. Brussels, Belguim: 1975; reproduced p. 144; Robert Delaunay. Liège, Belgium, 1955, no. 27, p. 19, illus.

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

Learn more about Equity at SAM