Born in Moscow, Kandinsky spent his early days in Odessa. He enrolled at the University of Moscow and chose to study law and economics. Quite victorious in his line of work—he was offered a professorship (chair of Roman Law) at the University of Dorpat—he started painting studies (life-drawing, sketching and anatomy) at the age of 30.
In 1896 he settled in Munich and studied first in the private school of Anton Azbe and then at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich. He went back to Moscow in 1914 after World War I started. He was unsympathetic to the official theories on art in Moscow and returned to Germany in 1921. There he trained 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 the rest of his life, and became a French citizen in 1939. He died at Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1944.
Kandinsky's creation of purely abstract work followed a long period of development and maturation of intense theoretical thought based on his personal artistic experiences. He called this devotion to inner beauty, fervor of spirit, and deep spiritual desire inner necessity, which was a central aspect of his art.
Kandinsky learned from a variety of sources life in Moscow. Later in his life, he would recall being fascinated and unusually stimulated by color as a child. The fascination with color symbolism and psychology continued as he grew. In 1889 he was part of an ethnographic research group that travelled to the Vologda region north of Moscow. In Looks on the Past he relates that the houses and churches were decorated with such shimmering colors that, upon entering them, he had the impression that he was moving into a painting. The experience and his study of the folk art in the region, in particular the use of bright colors on a dark background, were reflected in much his early work.
A few years later, he first related the act of painting to creating music in the manner for which he would later become noted and wrote, "Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul."
Works Of Wassily Kandinsky: