Wadsworth Atheneum


Painter and art theorist Wassily Kandinsky was born in Moscow in 1866. He studied law before moving to Munich to study painting at the age of 30. Displaced by WWI, he painted in Russia from 1914-21, and then returned to Germany to teach at the Bauhaus alongside his friend Paul Klee. After the Bauhaus was forced to close in 1933 and Kandinsky's "degenerate" work was removed from German museums, he moved to France, where he died in 1944.

He created what have been called the first abstract paintings, and circles were an important motif in his work. A great early abstract painting, Color Study: Squares with Concentric Circles, was painted in 1913. Kandinsky used a range of contrasting colors to stir an emotional response, and the twelve squares framing the circles almost seem to become circular themselves.

The multicolored circles of the ethereal 1926 painting Several Circles suggest celestial bodies as part of a cosmic order. As his fascination with the shape continued, a larger version of Several Circles was painted later the same year.

12 notecards, 6 each of 2 images.

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