Smart Secrets of Great Paintings episode 10 – Wassily Kandinsky

Smart Secrets of Great Paintings episode 10 - Wassily Kandinsky

Smart Secrets of Great Paintings episode 10 – Wassily Kandinsky: The roots of “Colourful Life” (1907), just like those of Vassily Kandinsky himself, were firmly anchored in age-old Russian soil. And yet the painting contains all the elements that were to accompany the painter in the greatest revolution in the history of art: the leap into abstraction.This documentary examines Kandinsky’s rejection of Western thought and efforts to preserve Russian culture during modernization. He contracted typhus during a trip to study peasant life; his feverish hallucinations inspired the work that evokes a forgotten golden age sought after by Russian Symbolist painters and poets. Finally, viewers learn about the philosophies on color and light that led him to compose his famous Yellow-Red-Blue.




The painting is an example of Kandinsky’s abstract style, in which he uses color and form to create a sense of emotion and movement in the viewer. The painting features bold, vibrant colors and organic shapes that seem to dance across the canvas, creating a sense of energy and vitality. Despite the lack of recognizable objects or figures, the painting is filled with a sense of life and movement, making it a powerful and striking work of art.

This series explores history of art in a totally new way. The painting comes to life, as animation overrides the limits of the frame, taking us to the heart of the canvass and plunging us into its era and history. This series of 10 half-hour programs shows how a painted image echos the spirit of its time and relates to a particular historic event. It reveals the poetic, sociological and political potential of the picture by penetrating inside the painting and examine the underlining details, thanks to work of computer graphics which livens up characters, objects and sets.

Each film tells a fascinating story of a creator and the painting process. The great works of the past portray abundant testimonies, and are imbued with secrets and are teeming with mysteries. Beneath the surface of the painting, details awaken, to recount the spirit of the times and the vagaries of History, such as wars, revolutions, economic transformation, scientific discovery, beliefs and schools of thought.


Smart Secrets of Great Paintings episode 10 – Wassily Kandinsky


Vassily Kandinsky was a Russian painter and art theorist. He is credited with painting one of the first purely abstract works. Born in Moscow in 1866, Kandinsky was heavily influenced by the Russian avant-garde movement and later became a professor at the Bauhaus school of art and design in Germany. He is known for his use of color and geometric shapes in his paintings. “Colourful Life” is a painting by Vassily Kandinsky, a Russian painter and art theorist who is credited as one of the founders of abstract art.

In 1896, Vassily Kandinsky settled in Munich, studying first at Anton Ažbe’s private school and then at the Academy of Fine Arts. He returned to Moscow in 1914, after the outbreak of World War I. Following the Russian Revolution, Kandinsky “became an insider in the cultural administration of Anatoly Lunacharsky” and helped establish the Museum of the Culture of Painting. However, by then “his spiritual outlook… was foreign to the argumentative materialism of Soviet society”, and opportunities beckoned in Germany, to which he returned 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. He died in Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1944, three days prior to his 78th birthday.




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