Multicolored Circle Artist: Wassily Kandinsky (Russian, active France, Germany, 1866–1944)


Modern and Contemporary Art

On view, 3rd floor, Modern and Contemporary Art and Design

This painting exemplifies Kandinsky's late style in which purely geometric forms dominate the composition. The non-objective and non-representational colored shapes are arranged in an orderly, animated two-dimensional pattern. They are suspended in the pictorial space of the painting through an intense juxtaposition of form and color. One of eight major paintings made by Kandinsky in 1921, while living in Russia, this work represents a transition between the lyrical "improvisations" and the rich "compositions" he made while living in Munich (1896–1914) and the more architectonic works created while he was teaching at the Bauhaus (1922–33). As in most of Kandinsky's paintings, music provided an underlying metaphor for his composition, which he created as a free interplay of color, form, and line in space.


Oil on canvas


138.2 × 180 cm (54 7/16 × 70 7/8 in.)
framed: 140.3 × 182.9 × 5.1 cm (55 1/4 × 72 × 2 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Collection Société Anonyme

Accession Number



20th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Exhibition at the Societe Anonyme, 19 E. 47th St, NY, 1923; Société Anonyme (until 1941, donated to the gallery)

  • Ketevan Kintsurashvili, David Kakabadzé: Georgian Modern Artist and Inventor (New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2013), 129.
  • Annegret Hoberg, Kandinsky: Absolut, Abstrakt, exh. cat. (Munich: Prestel-Verlag, 2009).
  • Vivian Endicott Barnett et al., Kandinsky, exh. cat. (New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 2009), 222, 311, no. 57, ill.
  • Ruth L. Bohan et al., The Société Anonyme: Modernism for America, ed. Jennifer Gross, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2006), 196, ill.
  • Robert L. Herbert, Eleanor S. Apter, and Elise K. Kenney, The Société Anonyme and the Dreier Bequest at Yale University: A Catalogue Raisonné (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1984), 360, no. 375, ill.
  • Collection of the Société Anonyme: Museum of Modern Art 1920 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1950), 1-2, ill.

Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

abstract (general art genre)


Signed on back: K (artist's monogram) No.238/1921

Technical metadata and APIs


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