Kandinsky Wassily, “Rapallo”, 1906

Wassily KANDINSKY

(Moscow, 1866 – 1944, Neuilly- sur-Seine)

Rapallo

1906

Oil on board, 24 x 33 cm

Presentation

A renowned master of the Russian avant-garde, a theorist and teacher, one of the founders of abstract art. He received a legal education, after which he studied with Anton Azbe and Franz von Stuck (Munich). Founder of the Blue Rider association. Exhibited with the Jack of Diamonds (1910), Donkey’s Tail, the World of Art and other groups. Taught in Moscow and abroad, predominantly in Munich. The author of several theoretical works that are of principle importance for the Russian avant-garde.

At the age of thirty, Kandinsky went to Munich to study art abandoning a promising legal career in Moscow. From 1903 to 1908, he travelled widely throughout Russia, Europe and North Africa, arriving with companion Gabriele Münter in Rapallo on the northeast coast of Italy in December 1905. From December 23 to April 30, 1906 they rented there a house in via Montebello. Vivian Endicott Barnett notes “Kandinsky painted the view from the house they rented in via Montebello and also numerous scenes of the bay. In the Italian landscapes there is an emphasis on pastel colors and a greater freedom of execution… The bright light of Tunisia and Italy resulted in higher-keyed-tonalities in Kandinsky’s pictures” (Wassily Kandinsky, A Colorful Life, New York, 1996, p. 127).

This nearly six-month stay heralded a shift in Kandinsky’s aesthetic as he explored the pictorial possibilities of the landscape around him. Working primarily in oil and often in a small format, Kandinsky tried to capture the atmosphere and ambience of the port. Kandinsky’s use of the palette knife to apply his paint in thickly worked and textured strokes lends the painting a rich, expressive quality that in its immediacy and simplicity anticipates the artist’s later development.

Condition report:

The painting is in excellent condition. The paint texture is very well preserved and impasted highlights are in original condition.

Provenance:

Der Sturm Galerie, Berlin, Germany;

Emil Christenson, Stockholm, Sweden;

Important private collection, Zürich, Switzerland

Bibliography:

H. Roethel and J.Benjamin, Kandinsky: Catalogue raisonné of the Oil Paintings, vol. I, 1900–1915, London, 1982, p.171, no.160a, illustrated

Kunstberatung Zurich. Old masters and Modern art catalogue: private treasures, Zurich, 2019

Exhibitions:

Kunstausstellung Der Sturm;

PAM – Salon Point Art Monaco – 2015

BRAFA – the Brussels Art Fair – 2015

Masterpiece London – 2017

Exhibition of Russian avant-garde paintings. Kandinsky and his contemporaries. On the 150th Anniversary of the Birth of Wassily Kandinsky. 16 December, 2016–31 December, 2017, ‘Art Centre. Moscow’, Moscow, Russia

La Biennale Paris – GRAND PALAS – 13 – 17 September 2019

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