Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944)
Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944)

Park von St. Cloud--Herbst I

Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944)
Park von St. Cloud--Herbst I
signed 'KANDINSKY' (lower left)
oil on board laid down on canvas
9 7/8 x 13 1/8 in. (25.3 x 33.4 cm.)
Painted in 1906
Gabriele Münter (acquired from the artist).
Anon. sale, Sotheby's, New York, 12 November 1988, lot 332.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
H.K. Roethel and J.K. Benjamin, Kandinsky: Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil Paintings, 1900-1915, London, 1982, vol. I, p. 176, no. 167 (illustrated).
Munich, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Kandinsky (Gabriele-Münter-Siftung) und Gabriele Münter: Werke aus fünf Jahrzehnten, February-April 1957, no. 51.

Lot Essay

Kandinsky traveled extensively throughout Europe in 1903-1908. These sojourns from Munich allowed the artist to exhibit his works in different venues and view first-hand the various artistic developments of the time. In 1906, Kandinsky and his companion Gabriele Münter went to Paris for a year. They rented rooms in a small house at 4, petite rue des Binelles near the park of St. Cloud in Sèvres, a town outside of Paris. During his year stay there he exhibited at the Salon d'Automne and the Indépendants in Paris. He had the opportunity to see a special Gauguin exhibition at the Salon d'Automne of 1906 as well as group exhibitions of works by Fauve painters such as Henri Matisse, Robert Delaunay, André Derain, and Maurice de Vlaminck. This exposure to the contemporary works of the Parisian artists marked the beginning of a transformation in Kandinsky's art. As Vivan Endicott Barnett states "New subjects entered his work, new light and colors changed his style, and new experiences inspired his imagination" (in Vasily Kandinsky: A Colorful Life, New York, 1996, p. 127).

The present work was completed in the autumn of 1906 and is part of a group of small landscape studies of the park at St. Cloud which Kandinsky completed in the summer and fall of that year. In Park von St. Cloud--Herbst I the artist applies broad bands of color with a palette knife. The painting is less naturalistic than his earlier works and his use of color is brighter and more dramatic. Kandinsky employs somber ocher and green hues but adds lighter supplementary tones to the primary colors making "a distinct progress in the direction of the pictorial form" (W. Grohmann, Kandinsky Life and Work, New York, 1958, p. 48).

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