Vasily Kandinsky (1866 - 1944) was born in Moscow but spent most of his life in Germany, eventually taking German citizenship in 1928. Within months of the Nazis' accession to power in 1933 he emigrated to Paris, where he died eleven years later.

Kandinsky's pivotal position in 20th century painting largely turns on his contribution to the development of abstraction. He was one of the first to create a picture that represented nothing, but consisted instead of forms and colours that each had their own independent identity and were used for their own sake.

He is best known for his work in oils, yet he also produced a large body of watercolours, gouaches and prints at every stage of a career that spanned more than four decades. It's in those watercoloures and gouaches that his masterly handling of colours is most evident, so that's why I decided to share half a dozen of my favourites with you...

(Click on any of the small pictures below to go to the full size version... then use your browser's back button to return to this thumbnail index.)


"Floating" Feb 1924


"Grid" July 1923

"Reaching Upwards" Jun 1931

"Small Worlds IV" 1922


"Upright" Sept 1930


"Weighing" 1928

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