Wassily Kandinsky

“I saw all the colors in my mind; they stood before my eyes. Wild, almost crazy lines were sketched in front of me.”

Wassily Kandinsky – Moscow, Russia, 1866-1944



Kandinsky is widely credited with making the world’s first abstract paintings. He was trained at University to be a lawyer and taught law until the age of 30, when he changed careers and became an artist. Kandinsky had also learned to play the piano and was an accomplished cellist. He believed that an abstract composition of colors and shapes could be just as powerful and emotional as a painting of an amazing landscape, a battle scene, or even a piece of music. Kandinsky had synesthesia (sih-nuhs-thee-zhuh) – a harmless genetic condition where one sense triggers a different sense, allowing for example, to hear colors, see music, taste words, or smell numbers.

Classroom Presentation Materials:

Kandinsky Learning Plan 2015-16 (.pdf)

Kandinsky Supplement (.pdf) definitions, etc.


Kandinsky animation with music


A YouTube about a young American woman who experiences sound/sight synesthesia

Carnegie Picture Lab is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that focuses on art eduction in Walla Walla valley schools. Read more about CPL here .