Robert Delaunay was born in Paris, the son of George Delaunay and Countess Berthe Félicie de Rose. While he was a child, Delaunays parents divorced, and he was raised by his mothers sister Marie and her husband Charles Damour, in La Ronchère near Bourges. When he failed his final exam and said he wanted to become a painter, his uncle in 1902 sent him to Ronsins atelier to study Decorative Arts in the Belleville district of Paris. At age 19, he left Ronsin to focus entirely on painting and contributed six works to the Salon des Indépendants in 1904.
He traveled to Brittany, where he was influenced by the group of Pont-Aven; and, in 1906, he contributed works he painted in Brittany to the 22nd Salon des Indépendants, where he met Henri Rousseau.