Blick auf Murnau mit Kirche
The Van Abbemuseum Collection consists of over 2800 artworks. We publish texts and images on an ongoing basis, but this record is currently in the process of being documented.
The painting 'View of Murnau with Church' by the Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky shows a landscape with the village of Murnau situated in the middle of the Bavarian hills. A church and some houses, as well as trees and hills, can be distinguished in this landscape. Kandinsky did not depict the theme in a way that is true to nature. He left out the details, particularly in the buildings, painting the larger shapes in a free style which is unrelated to the actual architecture. For example, the church tower is at a great angle and the use of colour is also very free: the colours are much brighter than in a real landscape. Furthermore, Kandinsky did not relate the colour to a specific form or to an object. He placed the various colours next to each other within a single design, sometimes with a great deal of contrast, at other times, merging together.
Kandinsky was much more influenced by his feelings when he chose colours and form than by what his eye perceived. His brushstroke style is clearly recognizable with the theme placed onto the canvas directly, not in several layers. These are the characteristics of Expressionism and Kandinsky was one of the founders of the group of Expressionist artists known as “Der blaue Reiter”. In 1912, he published the eponymous almanac together with Franz Marc. This contained articles about new movements in the arts and music, reproductions of contemporary modern paintings, as well as examples of folk art, medieval art and ethnic art. These art forms were not concerned with realistic representations of the real world, but with a personal, ritual or spiritual experience. Kandinsky considered the artist’s “inner need” to be his only true guideline.
For him, music was the highest form of art, because music was completely abstract and totally separate from any references to reality. He wanted to paint in the way that music is composed: with sounds, tones and rhythms. In 1913 his work became completely abstract. The visual means such as lines, planes, colours, rhythm and structure were used independently, referring to nothing other than themselves.
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