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Throughout his life, Kandinsky tried to achieve what he called 'absolute art'. Theosophy, a spiritual teaching of a higher cosmic reality above our visible world, was influential. In 1912, Kandinsky described in his book 'Uber das Geistige in der Kunst' how art could portray this higher absolute truth. It was important that the artist knew how to show his inner feeling. He should not concentrate on copying the world around him, this would only prove a distraction.
In order to do this in a correct, pure way, Kandinsky developed an elaborate theory of colour and shape. Each colour and each form and all possible combinations of them expressed a unique psychological value. In 1923, for example, he described the colour yellow as: warm, slightly eccentric, taking the foreground and active. In his theory, yellow had the shape of a triangle. For him, red was the colour with the greatest intensity and belonged to the square. These combinations could be freely combined, and each deviating combination introduced new expressions.

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Collection book

Collection book Order


Title Strahlenlinien
Material and technique Oil on canvas
Object type
Painting > Painting > Two-dimensional object > Art object
Location This object is in storage
Dimensions Height Error: 99,5 is not a valid BCD value cm
Width 74 cm
Artists Artist: Wassily Kandinsky
Accession number 2681 (MK)
Credits Aankoop 1964
Department Modern Art
Acquisition date 1964
Creation date in 1927
Internal exhibitions De collectie als tijdmachine (2017)
External exhibitions Schönberg & Kandinsky. Tegendraads in kunst en muziek (2013)
Boijmans bij de Buren - REMIX ROTTERDAM, Boijmans X Wereldmuseum (2020)
Spirituele Urgentie (2022)
Boijmans bij de Buren - Branding Rotterdam (2019)
Geographical origin Russia > Eastern Europe > Europe

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All about the artist

Wassily Kandinsky

Moskou 1866 - Neuilly-sur-Seine 1944

Wassily Kandinsky was of Russian origin, but lived in Munich before the First World War, where he was a member of the artist group Der Blaue Reiter. He is...

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