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Wassily Kandinsky

Rapallo - Seascape with Steamer

oil on canvas
1906
22 x 32,2 cm / 8 5/8 x 12 1/4 in.
verso inscribed by Gabriele Münter 'Kandinsky'

Gabriele Münter and Wassily Kandinsky had met in 1902 at Kandinsky's painting school Phalanx, where the 25 year old was his student. Kandinsky was ten years her senior and he was married and wanted to keep their relationship secret. In 1904 they had set out on a journey which took them to the Netherlands, Tunisia, Italy and eventually to Paris, where they were to spend a whole year. From December 1905 to April 1906 they stayed in Rapallo on the Italian flower Riviera, which was popular with Russians because of its mild winters. Nobody knew them there; they could live as a couple without considering any social constraints. The catalogue raisonné of Kandinsky’s paintings places the work in Rapallo. But in the long shape at the right of the painting, many see a submarine. In fact, France had several submarines, which were on the coast of Tunisia in these years. Both sank off the Tunisian coast near Bizerta, not far from Tunis, the „Farfadet“ on July 5, 1905, the „Lutin“ on October 16, 1906. Thus it is quite possible, even plausible, that Kandinsky und Münter saw a submarine during the time they were in Tunisia, during the first three months of 1905.

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