Wassily Kandinsky: 1866-1944

Wassily Kandinsky Wassily Kandinsky
Wassily Kandinsky

Wassily Kandinsky

Born on December 16, 1866 in Moscow Russia, Wassily Kandinsky was a painter, printmaker, stage designer, art theorist, and a central artist in the development of 20th century abstract art.

Kandinsky studied economics, ethnography and law in Moscow from 1886 – 1893 and wrote a dissertation on the legality of labourer’s wages. In 1896, Kandinsky decided to become an artist and traveled to Munich, Germany  where he studied at the art school of Anton Ažbe. In 1900 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich under Franz von Stuck.

In Munich, the early 1900’s was a centre for Jugendstil (Art Nouveau), and Kandinsky’s art grew out of this movement as well as Russian art. His early works included figure studies, scenes with knights and riders, romantic fairytale subjects and other  Russian scenes. He worked with tempera and gouache on black backgrounds and later used printmaking techniques including etching and drypoint. Also at this time, Kandinsky began creating small oil sketches using a palette knife on canvas board.

Between 1903 and 1909 he and his companion Gabriele Münter traveled to the Netherlands, Tunisia, Italy, France and throughout Germany.  While in France, Kandinsky stayed in Sèvres, outside Paris, where paintings by Gauguin, les Nabis, Matisse and other Fauvists were exhibiting. He was influenced by these artists and his colours became more vibrant.

Between 1904 and 1908 Kandinsky participated in art exhibitions in Moscow and St Petersburg, the Berlin Secession, and the Salon d’Automne in Paris. He was a co-founder of the Neue künstlervereinigung münchen (Munich New Artist’s Association) in 1909, and exhibited with them at the Moderne Galerie Thannhauser in Munich. Kandinsky had developed a distinctive style of painting and his shift from representational painting towards abstraction, focusing on the synthesis of colour line and form began.

Kandinsky was forced to leave Munich after the outbreak of World War I in 1914 and he and Münter stayed for several months in Switzerland. At the end of 1914 he went back to Russia and in December 1915 he traveled to Stockholm, to meet Münter.  He returned to Russia in 1916 where he met Nina von Andreyevskaya, whom he married in February 1917.

Between 1915 and 1919, Kandinsky produced numerous drawings and watercolours, as well as prints and paintings on glass. At times he returned to a more representational style painting realistic landscapes, views of Moscow, figure paintings, and fairytale scenes. However, his work also included completely abstract ink drawings, and geometric shapes became more prevalent.

Between 1918 and 1921, Kandinsky’s activities as a teacher, writer, administrator and organizer occupied much of his time. He played an active role in Narkompros, where he was director of the theatre and film sections and was an editor of a journal for the publication “IZO”.  He was also head of a studio at Moscow Svomas art school. Kandinsky still found time to produce large, canvases and many watercolours and drawings.

Kandinsky returned to Germany in 1921 and accepted an offer of professorship at the Bauhaus in Weimar. He became master of the wall painting workshop and taught a course on the theory of form. The faculty, which included Lyonel Feininger, Johannes Itten, Paul Klee and Oskar Schlemmer, developed theoretical courses, led workshops and instruction in crafts and sought to reunite all artistic disciplines.

At the Bauhaus, Kandinsky created about three hundred oils and several hundred watercolours. From the beginning, he had systematically recorded his paintings and, after 1922, he catalogued the watercolours as well. He also produced many drawings which often related to his teaching theories.

During the Bauhaus period, Kandinsky used circles, squares, triangles, zigzags, checker-boards and arrows as components of his abstract works. The shapes became just as meaningful as the abstract images of towers, horses, boats and rowers had been in his art in earlier years.

In 1933, the Kandinsky and his wife moved to Paris after the Nazis closed the Bauhaus school.  During this time,  his art included biomorphic forms, the incorporation of sand with pigment, and a new delicacy and brightness in his colour harmonies. He preferred pastels to the primary colours he had used in the 1920s, and he favoured images derived from biology, zoology and embryology.

Between 1934 and 1944 Kandinsky created 144 oil paintings, about 250 watercolours, and several hundred drawings. His work during this time revealed his personal response to prevailing artistic fashions – the free, organic shapes of Surrealism and the geometric abstraction of Art concret and Abstraction–Création on the other.

Kandinsky became a French citizen shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War. He continued working during the period of German occupation and died on December 13, 1944 at Neuilly-sur-Seine.


  1. Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve visited ykur blog before
    but after going through a few of the articles I realized it’s new to me.
    Nonetheless, I’m certainly delighted I stumbled upon itt and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!

  2. www.gettruederma.com June 9, 2015 at 8:00 am

    It is not my forst time to visit this site, i am browsing this
    web site dailly and get pleasant facts from here all
    the time.

  3. Magnificent beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your site,
    how can i subscribe for a blog website? The account
    helped mme a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bitt acquainted of this your
    broadcast offered bright clear idea

  4. I seriously love your site.. Pleasant colors & theme.
    Did you develop this web site yourself? Please replky back as I’m trying to create my own blog and want tto learn where you got this from or ust what the theme is named.

  5. rxtestosteronesite.com June 10, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Great delivery. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the great effort.

  6. faceliftgymhelp.com June 10, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    It’s an awesome article iin favor of all the online users;
    they will tak advantage from it I am sure.

  7. http://garciniawowfacts.com/ June 10, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    Aw, this was a very nice post. Finding the tume and actual effort to crerate a good article… but whatt can I say… I procrastinate
    a whole lot and don’t seem to get nedarly anything done.

  8. http://www.splendidtestoboosterformula.com June 11, 2015 at 9:48 am

    A person essenbtially lend a hand to make critically articles I’d state.
    That iis the very first time I frequented your web
    page and thus far? I surprised with the research you made to make this particular pokst incredible.
    Wonderful activity!

  9. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This
    iis an extremely well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it
    and return to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post.
    I will definitely comeback.

  10. I have read so many articles oor reviews on the topic of the blogger lovers however this post is actually a nice pikece of writing,
    keep it up.

  11. Yoursantiagingserum.com June 11, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Yes! Finally something about lancome skin care.

  12. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to mention thaqt I’ve
    really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. In any case I’ll be
    subscribing for your rss feed and I am hoping you write once more very soon!

  13. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I rreally appreciate your
    efforts annd I am waiting for your next poswt thank you once again.

  14. Great article! This is the kind of infoo
    that are supposed to be shared around the internet. Shame on Google
    for no longer positioning this post higher! Come on over and talk
    over wikth mmy site . Thasnk you =)

  15. This iss a great tip especially to those new to the blogosphere.
    Simple but very accurate information… Appreciate your sharing this one.

    A must read article!

  16. Outstanding post, you have pointed out some wonderful details, I likewise believe this is a very great website.

  17. desene animate pentru copii September 10, 2015 at 12:39 am

    Thanks for the blog.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.

  18. I am actually thankful to the owner of this website who has shared this great piece of writing at here.

  19. plenty of fish dating site of free dating September 23, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    What’s up, I read your new stuff like every week.
    Your writing style is witty, keep up the good work!

  20. Plenty Of Fish Bremerton October 16, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Having read this I thought it was very informative. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put
    this content together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and commenting.
    But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  21. Looking forward to reading more. Great article.Really looking forward to read more. Keep writing.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.