Wassily Kandinsky

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Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky was one of the most prominent Russian painters of his time who designated much of his earlier efforts to abstract works.

Wassily Kandinsky was born on December 16, 1866, the son of Lidia Ticheeva and Vasily Silvestrovich Kandinsky, in a wealthy business family of Moscow. He spent much of his infancy in Odessa where his father ran a tea factory. Even at such a young age he remembered finding an unusual appeal in different colors. In his childhood he learnt to play various musical instruments including the piano. Growing up, he graduated from Grekov Odessa Art school. Over here he pioneered the tact needed to make colors an aesthetic experience for his audience. His education however was not constrained in the realms of artistry. In fact, on his father’s insistence, he studied the arduous fields of law and economics from the University of Moscow. He not only studied these subjects but gained so much success in them that he was offered a professorship as the chair of Roman Law at the University of Dorpat. It happened six years later that Wassily married his cousin, Anna Chimyakina and began to re-immerse himself in the world of art again.

Consequently, in 1896 Kandinsky moved to Munich which was considered the hub of European art at the time. Over here he enrolled at the very prestigious Anton Ažbe private school and then later on at the Academy of Fine Arts. Art school, usually considered difficult, was easy for Kandinsky. During this time, Kandinsky became friends with a new artist, Gabriela Munter. In 1903 he ended his marriage with Anna Chimyakina. The years following his divorce constituted of him spending much of his time with Gabriela. Traveling across Europe as an associate of the Blue Rose symbolist group of Moscow, his relationship with paintings and exhibitions evolved to a great degree. After that, the duo returned to Bavaria, where they settled down in a small town of Murnau present at the bottom of the Alps. This was a new beginning for Kandinsky for he began understanding the power of music and how various notes can produce images in a listeners mind. As far as his paintings were concerned, spirituality began to form a key component in them. This facet of his thinking has come to the fore on numerous instances in his work. In fact, it is speculated, that he began viewing himself as somewhat of a prophet who was brought in this world with a task-to share his insight on the ideals of the world.

In 1914, he returned to Moscow. This happened post the outbreak of World War I. Kandinsky was not an advocate of the doctrines of the art in the Communist Moscow. Hence, in 1921, he moved to Germany where he became a teacher of art in the Bauhaus school of art and architecture.

Following this, he moved to France where he transitioned his apartment in Paris into a living-room studio. During the time, his work consisted of Biomorphic forms coupled with non-geometric outlines. This created a new form of art that portrayed microscopic organisms but actually had the artist’s inner life embedded in them. Thereon, Wassily also introduced the technique of mixing sand with paint to give the canvass a granular and rustic appearance.

Wassily Kandinsky’s final years were spent in isolation from the world. His social life was limited to a few old friends. He continued painting solo till his death on December 13, 1944 from cerebrovascular disease.

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