Kandinsky and the Spiritual

Researchers disagree whether Kandinsky was connected to theosophy or not.

Sixten Ringbom discusses this in The Sounding Cosmos (1970). After the distinction between the spiritual, the occult or the religious from the post last week, it may perhaps be easier to see the lifepath of Kandinsky a bit more clearly.

Lion Hunt, 1911, Kandinsky

Another writer, Peg Weiss, claims more or less the opposite and accredits the Munich cultural environment, between 1896-1914 for Kandinsky’s spiritual interest. She finds out about his deep knowledge of arctic shamanism, and shows that it was the symbolism of the shaman he was inspired of throughout his life.

Last Judgment, 1912 Kandinsky

Saint George,Kandinsky’s alter ego from the early woodcut prints, merges in time with the sibirian lapp shaman, who shows up in abstract form in paintings until the last year of his life, 1944.

It seems to me that Kandinsky experienced all three forms of spirituality mentioned previously; religious from his upbringing, a search within the mind and intellect through theosophy and occultism and then the discovery of the transcendence of his own soul in more mature years.

That way, one thing does not have to exclude the other, and in that way, both Ringbom and Weiss are right and can prove it.

Around the Circle, 1940, Kandinsky


Kandinsky in Munich : The Formative Jugendstil Years 
The sounding cosmos;: A study in the spiritualism of Kandinsky and the genesis of abstract painting (Acta academiae Aboensis, ser. A, v. 38 nr 2)


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