watercolour and India ink on paper
24,5 x 33,2 cm ( 9 5/8 x 13 1/3 in.)
signed with monogram and dated lower left
With the outbreak of the First World War, Kandinsky had to leave Germany in August 1914 and, after spending several months in Switzerland with Gabriele Münter, reached Russia in December, where he was to remain until 1921.
This energetic watercolour, painted in 1918, is an example of this Moscow period before Kandinsky returned to Germany in June 1922 to join the Bauhaus.
Between October 1917 and January 1919, the artist used the medium of watercolour exclusively. This enabled him to explore the free use of organic, abstract forms. The vividness and variety of the forms allow the viewer a variable reading - thus Kandinsky frees his compositions from the laws of gravity, which is a significant attempt to provide a modern perception of space. With these works, Kandinsky was already heralding the purely abstract compositions of his Bauhaus years.
Slight discoloration of paper due to ageing