Severe in Sweet

Severe in Sweet
Artist:
Vasily Kandinsky (Russian, 1866-1944)
Date:
1928
Medium:
Watercolor and colored ink on laid paper 
Dimensions:
16-7/8 x 12-1/8 in. (42.9 x 30.8 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Museum, The Blue Four Galka Scheyer Collection 
Accession Number:
P.1953.201 
Copyright:
© Norton Simon Museum 
Not on View
Description

In 1928 Kandinsky created 25 oil paintings and more than 100 watercolors, Severe in Sweet being one of them. Kandinsky sent Severe in Sweet along with others to Galka Scheyer in Los Angeles for her to sell on consignment in 1933. She expressed great fondness for Severe in Sweet, and through correspondence, they worked out an arrangement for her to buy it for her own collection. In a letter dated December 30, 1938, she wrote to Kandinsky:

“This watercolor, in case you don’t remember it, has a light brown circle in the upper right-hand corner with brighter circles which renew themselves in the yellow space. Joined to these are some lines that resound with every renewal. For the circle soars and breathes, just as life, I am sure, constantly renews itself and resounds whenever it touches the lines that exist in space. It is one of your works that really says ‘Yes.’”

In his response, Kandinsky proposed the following offer: “The watercolor 318 Severe in Sweet with which you are flirting costs $40 net. For you the price would be $20 net.”

Provenance:

The artist, July 1933 to;
Galka Scheyer, who purchased from the artist 1938-1940;
Pasadena Art Institute, Pasadena, 1953-1954;
Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena,1954-1975;
Norton Simon Museum, 1975.

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