|Wassily Kandinsky, 1913|
Born in Moscow in 1866, Kandinsky's parents were divorced when he was five. He was raised by an aunt. He studied law and painted as a hobby. By 1896 he was a Doctor of Law, economist, and university lecturer. In that year he was deeply struck by two events, a traveling show of French Impressionist paintings, and an opera by the new German composer Richard Wagner. These influences, along with time spent earlier in a rural province studying peasant law, where he was strongly effected by the brightly colored houses, furniture, and costumes, combined to unleash within him an outburst of creative energy that forever shifted his focus from law to art. Though strongly expressive, his early work was quite representational though hardly conventional. Feeling limited by the bonds of subject matter, he began to move further and further from all but the most elemental symbolic references to any "real world" into the psychological and spiritual effects of pure color.
|Composition X, 1939, Vassily Kandinsky|