The Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky was born on 4 December 1866 in Moscow as the son of a tea merchant. From 1885 he studied law and economics, but became more and more interested in art and painting. Four years after his dissertation and inspired by a French Impressionist exhibition, Kandinsky decided to study painting in Munich in 1892. With his lover and later wife, the painter Gabriele Münter, he undertook numerous study trips, which contributed greatly to his artistic development. He founded various artist associations, among them the Blaue Reiter in Munich in 1911 together with Franz Marc.
During World War I Kandinsky returned to Russia, where he taught at various state institutions and organized art exhibitions. His artistic work was largely suspended during this time. In 1921 he returned to Germany, where he taught at the Bauhaus School in Weimar from 1922. This period ended in 1933 with the closure of the Bauhaus and the defamation of his work as "degenerate art" by the National Socialists. He then went into exile in France, where he died on 13 December 1944 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, a suburb of Paris.
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