Artists & Illustrators


Wassily Kandinsky wasn’t the first artist to embrace music in his painting, but he was possibly the first to do so in such an immersive and comprehensive way. Music for the Russian artist didn’t simply mean a radio on in the studio; it was a source of inspiration that triggered colours and ideas in his mind.

Back in 1877, Walter Pater had declared that “all art constantly aspires towards the condition of music” and here was an attempt to put a chorus of colours into visual form. Colour and line would become Kandinsky’s musical notes as he pursued an increasingly abstract agenda, creating several series of individually numbered works that he called “improvisations” or “compositions”. 1912’s Improvisation 28 is a typical example, a wide canvas with roughly applied passages of pure colour overlaid with seemingly random black lines and marks that call to mind musical notation.

“Wassily Kandinsky embraced music in an

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