Vasily Kandinsky b. 1866, Moscow; d. 1944, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
image: 4 1/4 x 6 3/16 inches (10.8 x 15.7 cm); sheet: 4 1/2 x 6 1/4 inches (11.5 x 15.9 cm)
The Hilla von Rebay Foundation, On extended loan to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris
In 1907, Vasily Kandinsky produced numerous original woodcuts featuring women in traditional Russian costumes, embodying the romantic, fairytale imagery Kandinsky favored early in his career. Among them, Birches (Schalmei), Women in the Woods (Frauen im Wald), Two Birds (Zwei Vögel), and Church (Kirche)—as well as another woodcut, Horsemen—were reissued as photogravures with the title Xylographies in the Parisian magazine Les Tendances Nouvelles in 1909. The title draws attention to the pervasive musical elements of the portfolio. Kandinsky’s fascination with music’s emotional power inspired his later abstract compositions, and was a lifelong interest for the artist.