MoMA
Robert Delaunay. The Three Windows, the Tower and the Wheel. 1912
Robert Delaunay

The Three Windows, the Tower and the Wheel

1912
Not on view
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
51 1/4 x 6' 5" (130.2 x 195.6 cm)
Credit
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William A. M. Burden
Object number
339.1985

In his Windows series, a group of twenty-two paintings made between April and December of 1912, Delaunay rejected painting's traditional function as a window onto an imaginary world. Instead he turned to the pictorial surface as a place where the process of seeing itself could be recorded. "Without visual perception there is no light, no movement," Delaunay wrote in the summer of 1912. "This movement is provided by relationships of uneven measures, by color contrasts, which constitute Reality." Light and its structuring of vision, the simultaneous contrasts of colors and their steady rhythmic motion, became the subjects of Delaunay’s Windows, setting the stage for his move into abstraction. "The Windows," he wrote, "truly began my life as an artist."

Gallery label from Inventing Abstraction, 1910–1925, December 23, 2012–April 15, 2013
Provenance information
The artist, Paris
Sonia Delaunay. Until 1951
Galerie Bing, Paris. 1951–1953. Acquired from above
William A.M. Burden. Purchased from Bing, October 1953 - 1985
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William A.M. Burden, 1985

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Image permissions

In order to effectively service requests for images, The Museum of Modern Art entrusts the licensing of images of works of art in its collections to the agencies Scala Archives and Art Resource. As MoMA’s representatives, these agencies supply high-resolution digital image files provided to them directly by the Museum's imaging studios.

All requests to reproduce works of art from MoMA's collection within North America (Canada, U.S., Mexico) should be addressed directly to Art Resource at 536 Broadway, New York, New York 10012. Telephone (212) 505-8700; fax (212) 505-2053; requests@artres.com; artres.com. Requests from all other geographical locations should be addressed directly to Scala Group S.p.A., 62, via Chiantigiana, 50012 Bagno a Ripoli/Firenze, Italy. Telephone 39 055 6233 200; fax 39 055 641124; firenze@scalarchives.com; scalarchives.com.

Requests for permission to reprint text from MoMA publications should be addressed to text_permissions@moma.org.

Related links:
Outside North America: Scala Archives
North America: Art Resource