Wassily Kandinsky and his women
They say behind every successful man there is a woman. In Wassily Kandinsky’s life there were three women, who inspired and supported him, sharing good and bad days, they followed him and inspired him, they loved him. Wassily Kandinsky’s women were – Anna, his first wife, he lived with her for 10 years; Gabriele, she was not his wife, but they were engaged, and the second wife Nina, with her he lived for 28 years. These three women were three muses of the artist Wassily Kandinsky.
An outstanding Russian painter, print-maker and art theorist, one of the founders of abstractionism Wassily Kandinsky was born in Moscow on 16th December, 1866. He graduated from Moscow University, law and economics faculty. At the age of 30 he began studying art in Germany, painting became his passion.
Kandinsky had lived in Munich, Germany for 18 years, from 1896 to 1914, then returned to Moscow. After the Russian Revolution in 1917 he came back to Germany, but when the Nazis got power, Wassily moved to France, and lived there till his death – 13 December 1944.
Young Kandinsky married his cousin Anna Chemyakina, who was six years older. Anna took care of her husband, following him to Germany. And for many years Anna had to cope with passionate relationships between her husband and a young artist Gabriele Munter. Their love affair lasted for more than ten years. For several years Kandinsky lived in a house, which was bought for him by Gabriele.
When a young Gabrielle Munter appeared in art class of Kandinsky, she was 25 years old, and he was 36 and he was married to Anna Chemyakina for 5 years. Surely Kandinsky attracted Gabriele as an interesting teacher. She wrote about it in her diaries. Thus began their friendship, which grew into love.
In 1911, after a successful Stockholm exhibition, which was organized by Gabriele, Kandinsky returned to Russia, promising finally to divorce with Anna. He did it, but he still continued to live with Gabriele as a lover. In the spring of 1916 he left for Russia, promising Gabriele to prepare documents for marriage. And in the winter of 1917, he married, but not Gabrielle.
He didn’t tell Gabriele about his young wife. Gabriele unsuccessfully tried to find it out, wrote letters, but they remained unanswered. Only four years later, in 1921, Kandinsky, in a letter from his lawyer, had demanded from Gabriele to return him his personal belongings and artworks. Gabriele didn’t return all his paintings, and kept them as “moral compensation”.
The acquaintance of 17-year-old Nina Andreevskaya and 50-year-old Kandinsky took place in 1916, by telephone. And later he confessed to Nina Kandinsky that he first fell in love with her voice. It was the day he wrote his watercolor “Unfamiliar voice”. “I was surprised by his stunning blue eyes” – would write Nina in her diary. On February 11, 1917, a couple got married. A bride was wearing white dress by Kandinsky’s sketch. Undoubtedly, many believed that Nina was married to a celebrity. But she always argued, saying that it was love at first sight. In support of this, she was a faithful wife for him for nearly 28 years.
Insulted and betrayed, Gabriele wrote him a 40-page letter in which she expressed what she thought about the former teacher, beloved and civil husband. After that letter Kandinsky sent a notarized document, which gave Mrs. Munter right of his pictures ownership.
With the outbreak of World War II the Kandinskys did not leave Paris. And the occupation of the city did not influence the daily routine of Kandinsky – he walked and painted every day, until July 1944. On December 13, 1944, Wassily Kandinsky died.
Nina was very well aware that the price of his paintings soon would grow, she refused to sell them. After the war, she continued to live in Paris, in their home. She sold and donated her husband’s artworks to various museums, organized Memorial Exhibitions. In 1973, she published a book of memoirs “Kandinsky and I”. On September 2, 1980, her house in the mountains in Switzerland was attacked by robbers, Nina was killed, and all her jewelry was stolen. Her husband’s pictures weren’t touched. The crime was never solved.
Wassily Kandinsky and his women