Nicolaas Warb (Sophia Warburg) Abstract Painting - Exorcisme
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Nicolaas Warb (Sophia Warburg)



Nicolaas Warb was born as Sophia Warburg in Amsterdam in 1906 the city where she attended the Academy for Visual Arts. 1929 Sophia left for Paris. There she visited the academies of Montparnasse, in particular La Grande Chaumière. She quickly found her turn in Paris and made friends with Kees van Dongen, who introduced her to some Parisian fashion houses, where she got work as a stylist. In her spare time, she spent a lot of time on music; In addition to classical music, Jazz was especially interested. In 1939 she met the Belgian artist Georges Vantongerloo. This encouraged her to resume painting, which she had abandoned for almost 10 years, and under his influence she opted for complete abstraction. Vantongerloo had studied the relationship between visual art and music from the 1920s, something that Warb will certainly have addressed. Her work from the period of collaboration is very similar to that of Vantongerloo. Later she allowed her feeling and intuition more in her work and, as far as her use of color was concerned, was guided by Goethe's color theory. She shared Goethe's vision that colors influence the soul, evoke emotions, make them happy or sad, can be thrilling and can move. The harmony of colors has its own laws and with this she went to work. In 1942 she married the painter Francis Nicolas, who gave up his work to accompany the artistic career of his wife. Because she believed that the work of female artists was taken less seriously by critics, she took the surname of her husband as her first name and shortened her last name to prevent that she would be concidered to be of German descent. Warb made close friendships with many artists, was an active member of Groupe Espace and the Société Réalités Nouvelles and from 1946 participated in the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles every year. She died of cancer at the young age of 51; her death was deeply regretted in the artistic circles of Paris. There is Warb's work in the collections of several French museums, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, as well as private collections at home and abroad.


  • Artist
    Nicolaas Warb (Sophia Warburg) (1906 - 1957, Dutch)
  • Creation year
  • Condition
  • Dimensions

    H 38.19 in. x W 27.56 in.

    H 97 cm x W 70 cm

  • Gallery location
    Dordrecht, NL
  • Reference number

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