Wassily Kandinsky's Composition VII painting is considered by many fans of abstract art to be the most important work of art of the 20th century, perhaps even the most important abstract painting ever created.
This work is a logical continuation of Compositions V and Composition VI . The three paintings are united by the theme of the Apocalypse. Such elements of Composition VI as the Deluge and the Resurrection can be traced in this work. Its main theme is the final judgment, but it is not seen as a disaster but as a liberation, the transition of the world from the material to the spiritual. Therefore, Composition VII differs from the other works in the series by its light colors and sparkling contrasting lines.
Kandinsky built each of his compositions so that the viewer could enter the image as if he were revolving within it. He made the bottom edge of the composition heavier, pushing it forward, while the top remains lighter and more distant to the viewer. One of the artist's main contrasts, blue and yellow form the central zone of active movement in and out.
Kandinsky spent many months preparing his Composition VII, but it took him only four days to paint it. The artist made about 30 studies of this painting ( 1 , 2 ). Some of them are reminiscent of Caravaggio or Leonardo da Vinci's with their detailed studies of the folds of the cloth, the leaves of the trees or the human limbs. In this series, some works repeatedly present the same curved line, others schematically show the basic structural elements of the composition, and some contain a detailed plan of the composition. In addition, there are about 15 different paintings that are related to Composition VII: these are sketches in oil or pencil, watercolours, paintings on glass and engravings.
Gabrielle Munter, who witnessed the creation of this painting, wrote in her diary on November 25, 1913 that the canvas for Composition VII was delivered to her home in Murnau, and Kandinsky went to work that very night. The next morning he took the first photograph of the painting and after lunch he took the second. The November 28 entry in Munter's diary stated that the painting was complete. On November 29, he took a photo of the finished work. Thus was recorded the birth of a great masterpiece.
Composition VII is ranked no. 100 in our list of famous paintings