Sketch for "Deluge I"
Vassily Kandinsky (Russian, 1866–1944)
Not on View

Kandinsky studied law in Moscow, then moved to Munich to study painting in 1896. He first worked in a Symbolist style, in which naturalism moved toward the edge of abstraction. In this small but highly animated painting, we can see a long white jagged line of lightning and a mountain that seems to be erupting. Less recognizable are several small figures attempting to escape the flood. Kandinsky's reference point was still the world of material reality. Later in 1912, when he began to make drawings for "Deluge II," all realistic symbols disappeared.


  • Artist Name: Vassily Kandinsky (Russian, 1866–1944)
  • Title: Sketch for "Deluge I"
  • Date: 1912
  • Medium: Oil and charcoal on cardboard mounted on wood
  • Dimensions: 13-7/8 x 19-1/8 in. (35.2 x 48.6 cm)
  • Credit Line: Norton Simon Museum, Museum Purchase with funds acquired from the Galka E. Scheyer Estate, for the Blue Four Galka Scheyer Collection
  • Accession Number: P.1964.39
  • Copyright: © Norton Simon Museum

Object Information

The artist to, 1912-1940? (early history unknown).
Noelle Lecoutour, Paris, probably 1940s.
[Galerie Bing, Paris, probably 1950s].
Joseph Silfka, New York by 1957.
Mr. and Mrs. Paul Hirschland, New York, by 1964.
[Richard Feigen Gallery, Beverly Hills, in 1964];
Paul Kantor Gallery, Beverly Hills, sold 1964 to;
Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena,1954-1975 (purchased with funds from the Galka Scheyer Estate);
Norton Simon Museum, 1975.

Art since 1889

  • University of New Mexico, Art Museum, 1964-10-20 to 1964-11-15

Color and Form 1904 - 1914

  • San Diego, Fine Arts Gallery, 1971-11-20 to 1972-01-02
  • Oakland Museum, 1972-01-25 to 1972-03-05
  • Seattle Art Museum, 1972-03-24 to 1972-05-07

German Expressionist Painting and Sculptures from California Collections

  • Pasadena Museum of Modern Art, 1974-04-16 to 1974-06-02

Selections from the Galka E. Scheyer Blue Four Collection

  • Pasadena Museum of Modern Art, 1973-10-02 to 1973-11-18

Maven of Modernism: Galka Scheyer in California

  • Norton Simon Museum, 2017-04-07 to 2017-09-25

Selections from the Permanent Collection

  • Pasadena Art Museum, 1971-07-13 to 1971-09-19

Kandinsky Paintings and Graphics: Retrospective of Kandinsky's Bauhaus Years

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1989-01-19 to 1990-01-14


  • Norton Simon Museum, 1994-01-13 to 1994-09-11

Selections from the Galka E. Scheyer Collection

  • Pasadena Art Museum, 1970-09-08 to 1970-12-17

The Blue Four and Their Contemporaries

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1991-06-20 to 1992-05-24

East Meets West: Russian Art from the 18th through the 20th Century

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1987-10-01 to 1988-04-17

Bauhaus Painters; Spirit of Modernism: Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Lyonel Feininger, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, El Lissitzky, Oskar Schlemmer, Alexander Archipenko, Alexei Jawlensky and Others

  • Seoul, Ho-Am Art Museum, 1996-02-08 to 1996-04-28

My Four Kings: Galka Scheyer and the Blue Four

  • Norton Simon Museum, 2002-12-13 to 2003-04-14

Permanent and Loan Collection, 1973

  • Pasadena Museum of Modern Art, 1973-01-30 to 1973-12-31

The Spirit of Modernism: Galka Scheyer in the New World

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1994-11-17 to 1996-01-14
  • Haas, Robert B., Du, p. 38
  • Seuphor, Michel, Dictionnaire de la peinture abstraite, 1957, p. 9
  • Grohmann, Will, Wassily Kandinsky: Life and Work, 1958, cc 75 pp. 332, 355
  • Ringbom, Sixten, The Sounding Cosmos: A Study in the Spiritualism of Kandinsky and the Genesis of Abstract Painting, 1970, pl. 58 pp. 155-156
  • The Blue Four Galka Scheyer Collection, Norton Simon Museum of Art at Pasadena, 1976, no. 234 pp. 83, 85
  • Washton Long, Rose-Carol, Kandinsky: The Development of an Abstract Style, 1980, pl. 94 pp. 94, 178
  • Roethel, Hans K. and Jean K. Benjamin, Kandinsky: Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil Paintings 1900-1915, 1982, no. 433
  • Campbell Abdo, Sara, Wassily Kandinsky, 1994, p. 5
  • Barnett, Vivian Endicott, The Blue Four Collection at the Norton Simon Museum, 2002, no. 269 pp. 224-225
  • Daniel Albright, Putting Modernism Together, 2015, p. 130
  • L'expressionnisme : une esthétique Européenne, 2017, p. 207 ; p. 204 (ill.)
  • Ringbom, Sixten, The Sounding Cosmos: A Study in the Spiritualism of Kandinsky and the Genesis of Abstract Painting (Reprint - 2022), 2022, pl. 58 pp. 176
Audio Tour
English | Español
Audio Tour Transcript
English | Español
English | Español
Transcripción de Audioguía
English | Español

Additional Artwork by Artist

Blue Vassily Kandinsky 1922
Lithograph for the Fourth Bauhaus Portfolio Vassily Kandinsky 1922
Lithograph No. III Vassily Kandinsky 1925

Image reproduction permission may be granted for scholarly or arts related commercial use. All image requests, regardless of their intended purpose, should be submitted via the reproduction request form.

Images may be protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. Additional permission may be required.

Approved requests for the reproduction of an image will receive a contract detailing all fees and conditions of use of the image. Upon receipt of both the signed contract and full payment, the Office of Rights and Reproductions will provide the image. A complimentary copy of the published material must be provided to the Norton Simon Museum.

Reproduction Request Form