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Simultane Playing cards

Sonia Delaunay was a French Jewish artist who was born in 1885 in Russia. Along with her husband Robert Delaunay and various others, she began the Orphism art movement. The movement was known for its extensive use of various strong and vivid colors as well as geometric shapes. Sonia’s work extends to the fields of stage set design, textiles as well as painting. She was the first female artist who had succeeded in having a retrospective exhibition at the prestigious Louvre in 1964. In 1975 Sonia Delaunay was named in the French Legion of Honor.

Sonia Delaunay's style

In modern design, her art works included various concepts of abstract geometry which she integrated in clothing, wall covering materials, fabrics as well as in furniture. The one unifying vision in all of her work was color. She began her career as a painter in Paris where she discovered her passion for color. She then began moving in various other fields like ordinary objects, textiles, and clothing and redefined the aesthetics in France during the 20th century. She even worked with Coco Chanel for a while she continued to paint abstract designs along with her husband.

First deck of Simultane cards

Simultane, the deck of playing cards that were designed by Sonia were first conceived during 1939 and were finally published in 1960. The cards reflect her passion for color with the vivid colors used in the cards as well as exotic art which she managed to incorporate into an everyday ordinary object like a playing card. In the Simultane cards, the court cards were made for expressing the nature of the figures represented in the cards. Traditionally these were conveyed by the use of various symbols, weapons and ornaments. In this pack of cards the King represents virility so large static forms have been used in the King card. The Queen is a symbol of femininity so mobile and rounded forms have been used.

The Jack in the deck is playful and boyish, so the head gear and the emblem has been kept the same as in the traditional deck. However, the designs have been represented in an abstract way. The back design in the cards is quite different than the traditional patterns and there are two different versions. All the court cards are the same in terms of design for all four suits in the deck.

The Simultane playing cards are a treat for the eyes with their vivid colors and their lyricism of design. The second edition of the Simultane cards was later introduced in 1980.

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