Wassily Kandinsky: Improvisation on Mahogany (1910)

Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), Improvisation on Mahogany (1910), oil on mahogany panel, Image Source: Sotheby’s

“Kandinsky’s first major breakthrough was his discovery that color, when disassociated from representational concerns, could become the principal subject of a painting. Taking his cue from musical composition, Kandinsky determined that every color corresponded with a particular emotion or “sound.” “Color becomes increasingly crucial. [… They] transport the subject to the sphere of dream and legend. This was the direction of development. The painter distributes and links the colors, combines them and differentiates them as if they were beings of a specific character and special significance. As in music, the materials now come to the fore, and in this respect Kandinsky stands between Mussorgsky and Scriabin. The language of color—just as in those composers—calls for depth, for fantasy” (W. Grohmann, op. cit., p pp. 60-61).


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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Rimbaud wrote a sonnet that attributes colors and images to each of the five vowel letters in the French alphabet:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting poem! Thanks for the link, Steve. 🙂


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