• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2165

    Impressionist and Modern Day Sale

    7 May 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 242

    Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944)

    Kochel-Gabriele Münter

    Price Realised  


    Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944)
    Kochel-Gabriele Münter
    oil on canvasboard
    13 x 9 3/8 in. (33 x 23.8 cm.)
    Painted in 1902

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    Kochel-Gabriele Münter is a rare, early work by Kandinsky that exemplifies his innovations in the Neo-Impressionist style, anticipates his exploration with luminous color as a future member of the Blaue Reiter, and most importantly, reveals an intimate and personal period of his life. This portrait depicts his young lover and student, Gabriele Münter, whom he had met in 1902 in a class at the experimental Phalanx School, which he co-founded. The school was one of the only places in Germany where women could study alongside men and assert the validity of their work, and for the first time, Münter found a mentor who could truly enable her to progress as an artist. Kandinsky's recognition of her natural talent and his encouragement of her ambitions were crucial for Münter's development; during the summers of 1902-1903, she joined his plein air landscape painting lessons in Kochel, Walchensee and Kallmünz, where she became intimately involved with the married painter. For the following four years, Münter traveled extensively with Kandinsky through Europe and North Africa, where she familiarized herself with the aesthetic ideas present in the work of Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, the Fauves and Henri Matisse--influences that would begin to emerge in her painting after the couple returned to Germany. That period also heralded a shift in Kandinsky's aesthetic and represents an important period of transition for the artist which culminated in 1908 with the couple's move to Murnau and their firm establishment in the international avant-garde.


    Gabriele Münter, Munich (gift from the artist).
    Marlborough Fine Art, Ltd., London.
    Acquired from the above by the family of the present owner, circa 1967.

    Pre-Lot Text



    H.K. Roethel and J.K. Benjamin, Kandinsky, Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil-Paintings, London, 1982, vol. I, p. 103, no. 73 (illustrated).


    London, Marlborough Fine Art, Ltd., Kandinsky and his friends, December 1966-March 1967, no. 1 (illustrated).