Sara Élievna Stern (Hradyzk, Ukraine [Russian Empire], 1885 – Paris, 1979) spent her childhood in Saint Petersburg; she studied Fine Arts at the University of Karlsruhe and from 1905 at La Palette in Paris, the academy of Cubists. She became interested in Henri Rousseau and Paul Cézanne, but above all else Delaunay focused on pure color: her Fauvist portraits are reminiscent of works by Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, and Henri Matisse. Throughout her career she worked on applying avant-garde artistic techniques to the creation of everyday objects, graphic design, and theater.
Along with her husband, Robert Delaunay, she created dynamic circular forms and chromatic harmonies based on the simultaneous presence of complimentary colors. World War I caught the couple by surprise in Spain; in Madrid they opened an interior design and modern clothing shop, and in Barcelona they collaborated with the Ballets Russes of Sergei Diaguilev. In 1930 Sonia Delaunay joined the Abstractio-Création group. In her gouaches of the 1940s, her style became more delicate and simple. In 1964 the Musée National d’Art Moderne de Paris received a donation of 58 works by Delaunay that were presented at the Louvre Museum. She was the first living woman artist to exhibit her works at this museum.