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Improvisation 27 (Garden of Love II) by Wassily Kandinsky

Vassily Kandinsky, 1912 - Improvisation 27, Garden of Love II

Improvisation 27 (Garden of Love II) by Wassily Kandinsky

Improvisation 27 (Garden of Love II) by Wassily Kandinsky (also spelt Vasily) is an expressive abstract that is independent of forms and lines. It depicts three sets of embracing couples surrounded by serpentine forms. One of the embracing couples is to the left of the sun in the centre of the painting. A green and red pair are positioned on top of the sun. The bottom right, a black figure is on top of a white figure. The painting’s subject is indicated in the subtitle “Garden of Love II,” which is a reference to biblical Eden.

This painting conforms with Kandinsky’s treatise, “Concerning the Spiritual in Art”, where he theorised a new form of artistic expression that favoured emotional and spiritual ideals, using abstract forms and colour symbolism to evoke an inner world. Music was an important catalyst for early abstract art and Kandinsky used musical terms to identify his works. He called his spontaneous paintings “improvisations” and described elaborate works as “compositions.” In many of Kandinsky’s works, the identification of the forms and the masses present on the canvas require a more elaborate analysis. The inner reality of the art requires more profound observation of the relationship of all the elements and their harmony.

Wassily Kandinsky is credited with painting one of the first recognised purely abstract works. Born in Moscow, he studying law and economics and began painting studies at the age of 30. Kandinsky was unsympathetic to the official theories on art in Communist Moscow and moved to Germany in 1920. There, he taught at the Bauhaus school of art and architecture from 1922 until the Nazis closed it in 1933. He then moved to France, where he lived for the rest of his life, becoming a French citizen in 1939 and producing some of his most prominent art.

Reflections

  • Can you see the music in Kandinsky’s art?
  • Do you prefer abstract forms and colour symbolism or realism in your art?
  • Do you prefer that emotional and spiritual ideals, be expressed in abstract forms and colour symbolism in art?

Explore Modern and Contemporary Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art – MET

Improvisation 27 (Garden of Love II)

  • Title:                Improvisation 27 (Garden of Love II)
  • Artist:              Vasily Kandinsky or Wassily Kandinsky
  • Created:          1913
  • Medium:         Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:   47.3 × 55.2 in (120.3 × 140.3 cm)
  • Museum:        Metropolitan Museum of Art – MET

Wassily Kandinsky

  • Name:            Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky
  • Russian:         Vasily Vasilyevich Kandinsky
  • Russian::         Васи́лий Васи́льевич Канди́нский
  • Born:              1866 – Moscow, Russian Empire
  • Died:              1944 (aged 77) – Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
  • Nationality:    Russian, later French
  • Movement:    Expressionism; abstract art

Wassily Kandinsky Quotes

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“The artist must train not only his eye but also his soul.”

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“Colour is a means of exerting direct influence on the soul.”

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“That is beautiful which is produced by the inner need, which springs from the soul.”

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“There is no must in art because art is free.”

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“Music is the ultimate teacher.”

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‘The more abstract is form, the more clear and direct its appeal.”

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“The arts are encroaching one upon another, and from a proper use of this encroachment will rise the art that is truly monumental.”

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“That is beautiful which springs from inner need, which springs from the soul”

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“Color provokes a psychic vibration. Color hides a power still unknown but real, which acts on every part of the human body.”

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“Blue is the typical heavenly colour. The ultimate feeling it creates is one of rest. When it sinks to almost black, it echos grief that is hardly human.”

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“Color is a power which directly influences the soul.”

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“Everything starts from a dot.”

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“The artist must train not only his eye but also his soul.”
– Wassily Kandinsky

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Photo Credit 1) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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