Who and What Inspired Wassily Kandinsky?

Wassily Kandinsky: "Composition VII" (1913)
Wassily Kandinsky: “Composition VII” (1913)

Wassily Kandinsky was a brilliant, well educated student of life. In 1896, at the age of 30, he was pursuing a promising career as a law and economics instructor. Fortunately for the world of art and all future artist he made a passionate and major career change at this time of his life. He decided to seek a life of art.

His inspiration came after seeing an exhibit by Claude Monet of his Haystack series. Kandinsky became especially concerned about the paintings on exhibit.

Claude Monet: “Haystacks (sunset)” 1890
Claude Monet: “Haystacks (sunset)” 1890

He had to read the catalog to know that what he was staring at with such confusion and interest were paintings of haystacks. The impressionistic style of Monet’s paintings took him aback and confused him. He felt that Monet had no right to paint indistinctly and felt pained at the non-recognition of the point of interest, feeling it was missing.

However, the color work in the series of paintings not only impressed him but near haunted him. It seemed completely independent of the objects themselves. He wrote about the experience later, proclaiming: I noticed with surprise and confusion that the picture not only gripped me, but impressed itself ineradicably on my memory.

Wassily Kandinsky: Munich-Schwabing with the Church of St. Ursula (1908)
Wassily Kandinsky: Munich-Schwabing with the Church of St. Ursula (1908)

In my personal opinion, Kandinsky’s painting, “Composition VII” (seen above on the left) was the finest abstract work of art that exists. It is considered by many to be the first truly abstract work of art.

All artists have that one something that inspires them. The color work and freedom of artistic expression in “Composition VII” does (in the words of Kandinsky) impress itself ineradicably (unable to be destroyed or removed) on my memory. This tidbit of information may seem strange to those of you who know that I am a realistic artist inspired by such artists as Norman Rockwell, Andrew Wyeth, Edward Hopper, Thomas Hart Benton and Robert Vickrey. I’m passionate about good art no matter what style, technique or “ism” it falls under.

For further discussion on the Abstract art movement, click on the picture to the left.

 

 

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