Fragment I for Composition VII (Center)

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Wassily Kandinsky (Russian, 1866–1944)
Fragment I for Composition VII (Center), 1913
Oil on canvas
34 15/16 × 39 7/16 in. (88.74 × 100.17 cm)
Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley M1958.12
Photo credit: Larry Sanders
©2008 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Not Currently on View

This study of the center section is one of numerous preparatory works for the last of the seven great compositions Wassily Kandinsky created between 1910 and 1913. Despite being generally recognized as the “father of abstraction,” Kandinsky began his colorful, rhythmic paintings with specific themes from the bible or from Russian folktales. In this active swirl of colors and forms, certain motifs suggest underlying New Testament themes such as the Resurrection and Last Judgment along with the Deluge from the Old Testament. A rudimentary figure in a boat at the left, a twin-oarred bark at the center right, and the central mountain heaved onto its side with the deep blue of sky or water behind it, are evidence of great natural turbulence. The complete finished Composition VII is in the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

This information is subject to change as the result of ongoing research.