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Vassily KANDINSKY

(1866 -1944)


Painter, engraver and art theorist, born in Moscow, 16 December, 1866 and died in Neuilly-sur-Seine, 13 December, 1944.

Kandinsky spent his childhood in Odessa. He studied law and economics at Moscow University and only began studying painting at the age of 30. In 1896,  he moved to Munich where he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts. He returned to Moscow in 1918 after the Russian Revolution.  In conflict with the official theories of art, he returned to Germany in 1921. He taught at the Bauhaus from 1922 until it was closed by the Nazis in 1933. He then emigrated to France and lived there the rest of his life, acquiring French nationality in 1939.  As a refugee in Paris, he was virtually unknown. 
Despite this, the Musée des écoles étrangères, then located at the Jeu de Paume, acquired a gouache in 1937 that was painted the previous year. This purchase, which came just as the Nazis were exhibiting « L’art dégénéré » in Munich, gave Kandinsky confidence. The works of this Parisian period are characterized, like the Nœud rouge of 1936 (oil on canvas, 89 x 116 cm, the Marguerite and Aimé Maeght Foundation collection), by dominant curved lines and strong references to the world of biology and scientific posters that analyze amoeba, larvae and other marine invertebrates.

Le Noeud rouge
Le Noeud rouge, 1936

Huile sur toile
89 x 116 cm
Don de Mme Nina Kandinsky, 1966
Collection Fondation Maeght