Wassily Kandinsky

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by kelseahaupt
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Wassily Kandinsky

Life StoryWassily (Vasily) Wassilyevich Kandinsky was born on the 3rd of December 1866, and died on December the 13th 1944. He was raised in Odessa, which was widely populated by a wide range of cultures. His parents too were of several different cultures. Wassily’s father, Vassili Silverstrovich was Mangolian, while his mother, Lidia Ivanovna Tikheeva, was a Muscovite and his grandmother was Baltic. From a young age, Wassily showed great passion in words, colours and sounds. This was greatly encouraged by his father who enrolled him into private drawing, cello and piano classes. Despite his upbringing in the arts, Wassily studied at Moscow University learning law, ethnography, and economics. During his time in University, he grew more intrigued by colour symbolism and at the age of 30 he started painting. One of his main inspirations was found on an ethnographic research trip, in 1889, to Vologda, Northwest Russia, where he found his inspiration in the native folk art. After finishing his degree, Wassily taught law at university. However, Regardless of his success he left and joined an art school in Munich in 1896. In 1901, Wassily co-founded a group named “Phalanx”. The group was against the traditional methods of art, and soon created an art school where Kandinsky taught. He them familiarised himself with the Expressionist movement and created his own styles. Three of his most famous paintings are: Composition VIII (1923), Transverse Line (1923) and The Blue Rider (1903).

"Of all the arts, abstract painting is the most difficult. It demands that you know how to draw well, that you have a heightened sensitivity for composition and for colors, and that you be a true poet. This last is essential."

Wassily KandinskyBorn: December 4, 1866 - Moscow, RussiaDied: December 13, 1944 - Neuilly-sur-Seine, France

Expressionism 1905-1933At the start of the 18th century in Europe, artist’s styles and visions changed because of large changes in the beliefs of society. Urbanisation and new technology reformed people’s way of thinking and beliefs. Artists started to paint their emotional and psylogical views of life rather than a realistic representation. Post-expressionism artists such as Edvard Munch and Gustav Klimt, came to Germany where Expressionism was started and where the movement was popular. The main characteristics of Expressionism art was to convey emotion and meaning rather than actual reality. Every artist’s technique was unique, but in order to express emotion, the art was often distorted or exaggerated and the colours were vivid and shocking.

Composition VIIIComposition VII was painted in 1923, with oil on canvas. It is 140cm high and 201cm wide. The artwork consists of geometric shapes and lines, mainly circles, triangles and quadrilaterals. The most important part of the artwork is the large circle in the top left corner. Wassily, in this painting was trying to paint the sound of music. The large circle in the corner consists of an outside shaded circle with two cirles inside of it, coloured black and purple. There is also very sharp lines which is conveying busyness and noise, compared to the calm circle in the corner.


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