“To create a work of art is to create the world.” ~Wassily Kandinsky

Wassily Kandinsky (pronunciation) is one of the most influential artists of the early 20th century. He is credited as being the pioneer of abstract art, and his work heavily influenced the expressionist movement.


Kandinsky was born on December 4, 1866 in Moscow, Russia. His father was a tea merchant, and his mother came from a noble family. Kandinsky spent his childhood in Odessa, and graduated from school in 1885. He then studied law and economics at the University of Moscow.

Color Study- Squares with Concentric Circles

However Kandinsky’s true passion was art, and he began taking private painting lessons in 1892. He also started to frequent art exhibitions, and was particularly drawn to the work of French Impressionists such as Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. In 1896, Kandinsky decided to abandon his promising career in law and economics, and instead enrolled at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts.

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Kandinsky believed that art should be expressive and accessible to everyone, not just those with formal training in art history or appreciation. He once said, “Colour is a power which directly influences the soul. Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.”

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One of Kandinsky’s most famous paintings is “Concentric Circles,” which features a series of expanding and contracting circles in different colors. The painting is meant to evoke a sense of movement, and the use of color is intended to create an emotional response in the viewer.

Kochel – Gabriele Munter

During the later years of his life, he traveled throughout Europe and parts of Africa. He spent over a decade in Germany, teaching at art school until World War II broke out and the Nazi’s closed it down. Kandinsky then traveled to France, where he settled and eventually became a French citizen.

The Singer

Kandinsky died in 1944, but his work continues to be highly influential in the world of art today. His unique approach to color and form paved the way for a new generation of artists to explore expressionism and abstract art.

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Books recommended for further study…

Point and Line to Plane (Dover Fine Art, History of Art)Point and Line to Plane (Dover Fine Art, History of Art)Point and Line to Plane (Dover Fine Art, History of Art)KandinskyKandinskyKandinsky


Kandinsky Virtual Tours

Take a closer look at the Improvisation 28 (Second Version) from Smarthistory:

For more project ideas, check out these Wassily Kandinsky-inspired art projects here:

Kandinsky Art Project: Make an Easy Tree Collage by Art Projects for Kids

DIY Kandinsky Circles Felt Board: Artist Project For Kids by Hello Wonderful

Kandinsky Christmas Tree by That Artist Woman

Kandinsky Inspired Apple Art by Arty Crafty Kids