Study for Apollo Riding Pegasus

The court theatre at the Palace of Compiègne

Decorative Works

In 1869, Delaunay was commissioned for the decoration of the theatre in the Palace of Compiègne, one of Emperor Napoleon III's favourite residences, together with the Tuileries, Saint-Cloud and Fontainebleau.

However, the fall of the Second Empire in 1870 saw the project cancelled, and it was not until 1891 that Georges Lafenestre, Delaunay's biographer looked into the fate of the early sketches made for Compiègne; rolled up and consigned to the attic of the Louvre, they have since disappeared.

Preliminary drawings

What we know of them comes from the preliminary drawings at the Nantes Museum of Fine Arts, in which the dominant theme is music: Apollo riding Pegasus, led by Harmony. Also represented are the figures of Tragedy (in the mask), Prometheus, Modern Drama, Comedy and Dance.

Study for Apollo Riding Pegasus
Ink on tracing paper
12,7 x 13,8 cm
Delaunay Estate Bequest, 1897
Inv. 5332