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Kandinsky Topic Guide

The Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky painted in several different styles during his career, and is most famous for his abstract artworks.

His abstract works are based on his idea that shapes and colours could be art, without having to be an image of a particular thing. He associated different shapes and colours with different feelings; he considered squares to be calming, for example.

Teach your children about Kandinsky using our handy topic guide!

Choose a section:
Teaching Ideas | Resources | Facts | Videos | Books | Links

Teaching Ideas

  • Try this great idea of making Kandinsky-style circles while listening to different types of music.
  • This lesson involves analysing Kandinsky’s work Sketch 160A, before creating an image inspired by it.
  • Create your own biography of Kandinsky. This page is a good place to start your research.
  • Create an artwork using geometric shapes, in the style of one of Kandinsky’s works, for example, Black and Violet.
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Resources

Kandinsky Facts

  • Wassily Kandinsky is considered by some art historians to be the first abstract artist.
  • Abstract art does not include lifelike images of things or people; abstract artists use shape and colour to express feelings.
  • Kandinksy had synesthesia, a condition that meant that he experienced colours as sounds, as well as seeing them. This was a huge influence on his art.
  • Before he began creating art at the age of 30, Kandinksy studied law.
  • He was inspired by Haystacks by Claude Monet. It set him thinking about how objects could or should be portrayed in paintings.

Videos

Wassily Kandinsky, Schaukeln

Discover the painting Schaukeln by Kandinsky.

Running time: 5:43

Mister Maker Discovers Wassily Kandinsky

Explore Kandinsky’s work with Mister Maker.

Running time: 1:38

Books

The Noisy Paint Box

A great book that explains how Kandinksy’s synesthesia helped him to create his art.

I Know an Artist

Discover links between Kandinsky and other artists in this fascinating book.

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