Kandinsky’s synaesthesia

Kandinsky (1866-1944) used painting to explore his synaesthesia, in his case, the ability to both see and hear colour.


Hearing tones and chords as he painted, Kandinsky theorized that, for examples, yellow is the color of middle-C on a piano, a brassy trumpet blast; black is the color of closure and the ends of things; and that combinations and associations of colors produce vibrational frequencies akin to chords played on a piano. Kandinsky also developed an intricate theory of geometric figures and their relationships, claiming, for example, that the circle is the most peaceful shape and represents the human soul.

source: Wikipedia – Kandinsky


Kandinsky abandoned a potential career in teaching law and economics to enrol in art school and devote his life to painting and art. Kandinsky’s inspiration for his theories on the Spiritual in Art include theosophy; he considered the artist to create out of an internal necessity to communicate and the artist’s original impulse to be evoked in the viewer by means of the artwork. Kandinsky was inspired and corresponded with the composer Arnold Schoenberg. He also taught basic design at the Bauhaus school.


The name Der Blaue Reiter derived from Marc’s enthusiasm for horses, and from Kandinsky’s love of the colour blue. For Kandinsky, blue is the colour of spirituality—the darker the blue, the more it awakens human desire for the eternal (see his 1911 book On the Spiritual in Art). Kandinsky had also titled a painting Der Blaue Reiter (see illustration) in 1903.

source: Wikipedia – Der Blaue Reiter


[Photomedia Forum post by T.Neugebauer from  Aug 07, 2006   ]