Google pays ode to Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky on his 148th birth anniversary

  • Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 16, 2014 15:43 IST

His works have sold for millions! A 1909 painting 'Study for Improvisation 8' sold for $23 million at Christie's in 2012.

Before that, another painting by the artist created in 1914 titled 'Fugue' sold for $20.9 million at Sotheby's.

With a career spanning almost five decades, Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky till date is considered as one of the most influential abstract painters and art theorists.

On his 148th birth anniversary, Google has paid homage to the world's first purely abstract painter by dedicating a special doodle to him. The illustration reflects the painter's distinct and abstract style.

Kandinsky who used colour as an expression of emotion often linked the process of painting to composing music.

"Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand which plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul," he wrote in his book 'Concerning the Spiritual In Art'.

He was highly influenced by French impressionist painter Claude Monet's iconic Haystacks and artistic movements like Impressionism, Fauvism, Pointillism, Bauhaus architecture and abstract expressionism, among others.

Although he was born in Russia, much of Kandinsky's best work had its foundation in Germany and France.

Born in Moscow in 1866, the painter began his artistic career at the age of 30. In 1896 Kandinsky gave up a promising career as a professor of law at the University of Dorpat to pursue art in Munich.

He started teaching art from 1922 at the Bauhaus school of art and architecture until the Nazis closed it down in 1933. The saddest part is, fifty seven of his paintings were confiscated by the Nazis, but were later put on exhibit (Degenerate Art) in 1937 before being completely destroyed.

He finally moved to France, where he died of cerebrovascular disease on December 13, 1944.

Few of his famous paintings
* The Blue Mountain
* Study for Improvisation 8
* Fugue
* Yellow Red and Blue
* Landscape near Murnau with a Locomotive

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