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.

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

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1989-01-19 to 1990-01-14
  • Haas, Robert B., Du, p. 38
  • Barnett, Vivian Endicott, The Blue Four Collection at the Norton Simon Museum,no. 269 pp. 224-225
  • Campbell Abdo, Sara, Wassily Kandinsky, p. 5
  • Daniel Albright, Putting Modernism Together,2015, p. 130
  • Seuphor, Michel, Dictionnaire de la peinture abstraite, p. 9
  • L'expressionnisme : une esthétique Européenne,2017, p. 207 ; p. 204 (ill.)
  • Grohmann, Will, Wassily Kandinsky: Life and Work,cc 75 pp. 332, 355
  • 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
  • Ringbom, Sixten, The Sounding Cosmos: A Study in the Spiritualism of Kandinsky and the Genesis of Abstract Painting,pl. 58 pp. 155-156
  • Washton Long, Rose-Carol, Kandinsky: The Development of an Abstract Style,pl. 94 pp. 94, 178
  • The Blue Four Galka Scheyer Collection, Norton Simon Museum of Art at Pasadena,no. 234 pp. 83, 85
  • Roethel, Hans K. and Jean K. Benjamin, Kandinsky: Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil Paintings 1900-1915,no. 433
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Additional Artwork by Artist

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

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