Art as an Emotive Experience

Wassily Kandinsky was a Russian painter and art theorist. However, he initially was educated to become a teacher of law, ethnography and economics. He studied these subjects at the University of Moscow and taught for a few years before going to art school. He was one of the first people to experiment with abstract art and was influenced by the works of Monet and other impressionist painters. He studied art in both Russia and Munich, eventually developing a unique style.… Read the rest here

Progress Rooted in Past Art

The end of the nineteenth century ushered in new movements in Russian poetry, art, dance, and music, which continued to grow throughout the early twentieth century. The movement sought to unify all forms of art and promoted collaboration amongst artists. Companies such as the Ballets Russes merged artists of all disciplines, from painters to musicians, in their shows. As this new wave of Russian art progressed, the past was often rejected in favor of a belief in progress through the unification of the Russian people.… Read the rest here

Kandinsky’s Push Against Materialist Culture


In the introduction to his book, “Concerning the Spiritual in Art,” Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) contradicts contemporary middle class values through a verbal assault on materialist culture, and more specifically, artwork. During this phase of his life, Kandinsky lived in pre-WWI Germany. Originally a scholar in law and economics, he only started studying art at age thirty.[1] It was likely his background in law and economics that enabled him to understand better the relationship between art and consumerism.… Read the rest here

Ivan Kramskoy: Life and Works

Ivan Kramskoy was born in 1837 in Ostrogozhsk, Voronezh Governorate, in the Russian Empire. He was born to a lower class family and did not begin painting until he was fifteen. At fifteen, he became an apprentice to a painter. In 1857, after he discovered his love for art, he got the opportunity to study at the Academy of Arts, in St. Petersburg. In 1863, Kramskoy went to St. Petersburg to be a part of the Team of Artists.… Read the rest here

Natalia Goncharova

Natalia Goncharova (1881-1962) was born in Nagaevo, Russia.  Her great-grandfather was the famous poet Aleksandr Pushkin.  She enrolled in the Moscow Institute of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture.  She and her lifelong partner, fellow painter Mikhail Larionov, helped found the Russian avant-garde movement.    Goncharova was best known for Primitivism, but she also painted in the Cubist, Cubo-Futurist, and Rayist styles.  Aside from painting, Goncharova also designed sets and illustrated books.  She finally married Larionov in 1955.  She died in Paris.… Read the rest here

Arkhip Kuindzhi


Arkhip Ivanovich Kuindzhi was born in January 1841 in Mariupol, which is now Ukraine, to a Greek shoemaker. Arkhip grew up in the city of Taganrog. When he was six, he was orphaned and raised cattle and worked construction to make a living. From 1860 to 1865 he worked in a photo studio and later attempted to own a studio himself, but this plan failed. So Arkhip moved to Saint Petersburg and began studying painting on his own until he joined the St.… Read the rest here