Murnau, Burggrabenstrasse 1, 1908


Wassily Kandinsky ( Russian, active in Germany, 1866 - 1944 )

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General Description

In the spring of 1908, Wassily Kandinsky discovered Murnau, a village located at the foot of the Bavarian Alps. He lived in Murnau from 1909 to 1914, crucial years in his evolution toward abstraction. The pristine beauty of this landscape apparently exerted a liberating influence on his work, which shortly thereafter made a radical shift toward abstraction. Kandinsky's ultimate goal was to invest his paintings with spiritual meaning but without representational subject. In Murnau, Burggrabenstrasse 1, 1908, Kandinsky both abstracts from nature and tests the expressive possibilities of color. Although the village is recognizable, Kandinsky has not depicted the scene literally but rather decoratively.

Excerpt from

Heather MacDonald, DMA label copy, 2010.

Web Resources

    Read Wassily Kandisnky's On the Spiritual in Art: First Complete English Translation, with Four Full Colour Page Reproductions, Woodcuts and Half Tones on the Guggenheim Internet Archives.

  • Guggenheim, New York
    Read a biography of Kandinsky from the Guggenheim.

  • Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
    View another work Kandinsky created in Murnau.