Wassily Kandinsky

"Of all the arts, abstract painting is the most difficult. It demands that you know how to draw well, that you have a heightened sensitivity for composition and for color, and that you be a true poet. This last is essential.” Kandinsky

Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky was born in Moscow on December 4, 1866 into a well-to-do family. Although most of his ancestors were Russian, he had a Baltic grandmother and a Mongolian great grandmother. His Baltic grandmother was of great significance because he learned from her to speak German. The years he spent in Germany would have been difficult without that early linguistic education.

His father, Wassily Silvestrovich Kandinsky, was born in the town of Kyatkha in Siberia near the border of the Russian Empire with the Chinese Empire....

In 1871 the Kandinsky family moved to the port city of Odessa on the Black Sea... He also studied drawing and painting. He may have been subject to a mental condition that imbued colors with special significance because he remarked that each color had a life of its own. Here are some of his remarks concerning colors

"The first colours which made a strong impression on me were light juicy green, white, crimson red, black and yellow ochre. These memories go back to the third year of my life. I saw these colours on various objects which are not as clear in my mind today as the colours themselves."

He spoke of his reaction to colors as an artist: "There was a decided emotion I experienced on first seeing the fresh paint come out of the tube. … the impression of colors strewn over the palette: of colours-- alive, waiting to come out of their little tubes."
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