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    Sale 2165

    Impressionist and Modern Day Sale

    7 May 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 245

    Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944)

    Kallmünz-Vilsgasse I (Rosa Landschaft)

    Price Realised  


    Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944)
    Kallmünz-Vilsgasse I (Rosa Landschaft)
    dated '1903' (on the reverse)
    oil on canvas
    11 3/8 x 17¼ in. (28.9 x 43.8 cm.)
    Painted in 1903

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    On 17 May 1903, Kandinsky wrote to Gabriele Münter about a summer trip planned by the students of his painting class at the Phalanx school: "After searching for a long time and many endless discussions, we decided to go to Kallmünz." The picturesque village, with its hilltop medieval castle and old colorful houses along winding roads, is situated north of Regensburg at the convergence of the Vils and Naab rivers in eastern Bavaria. From 5 June until 12 August of that summer, Kandinsky spent most of his time with six students painting en plein air in Kallmünz and the surrounding countryside of the Oberpfalz.

    Upon his arrival, Kandinsky lived among his students at the Wirtshaus Zur roten Amsel, near the Vils bridge and the village mill. Later in June, Gabriele Münter joined Kandinsky, despite her fears that the students would notice their love affair, and Kallmünz became the cradle of the two artists' romance. Kandinsky's and Münter's relationship became serious during this summer, and at the end of August Kandinsky offered her an engagement ring, along with the large gouache Die Nacht (Spazierende Dame), now housed in the Lenbachhaus, Munich, as tokens of his commitment.

    Kallmünz-Vilsgasse I (Rosa Landschaft) exemplifies the important relationship between Kandinsky's early work and the Neo-Impressionist work of Vincent van Gogh, whose paintings Kandinsky had greatly admired at the 1903 Munich Secession. Under this influence, Kandinsky's use of the palette knife to apply paint in heavily impastoed and coarse strokes infused his paintings with an expressive weight of color that, in its immediacy and simplicity, suggested a departure from his carefully constructed compositions and a move toward the artist's later abstractions.


    Gabriele Münter, Munich (gift from the artist).
    Marlborough Fine Art, Ltd., London.
    Acquired from the above by the family of the present owner, circa 1961.

    Pre-Lot Text



    H.K. Roethel and J.K. Benjamin, Kandinsky, Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil-Paintings, London, 1982, vol. I, p. 112, no. 86 (illustrated).


    London, Marlborough Fine Art, Ltd., Kandinsky, The Road to Abstraction, April-May 1961 (illustrated, pl. 8).