Monday, August 9, 2010

Who Created The First Abstract Landscape Painting?

Haystack by Claude Monet

In 1896 Wassily Kandinsky saw an exhibit of paintings by Monet which impressed upon his memory and shaped his intrigue for the non-recognizable.  Observing Monet's famous impressionistic Haystacks, here's what Kandinsky wrote:

"That it was a haystack the catalogue informed me. I could not recognize it. This non-recognition was painful to me. I considered that the painter had no right to paint indistinctly. I dully felt that the object of the painting was missing. And I noticed with surprise and confusion that the picture not only gripped me, but impressed itself ineradicably on my memory. Painting took on a fairy-tale power and splendour."
Winter Landscape by Wassily Kandisnky

It wasn't long before Wassily Kandinsky began creating abstract art.  Some call Kandinsky the father of abstract art.  But did he create the first abstract landscape painting?  He very well could have.   In Kandinsky's  "Winter Landscape" from 1909  you can see the impressionistic influence, but it's obvious the composition was created with the intent of painting from the mind and not from reality.   Some might argue that it was post-impressionist Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) who was the first to create an abstract landscape because of the way he distorted reality to express an idea. What do you think?

Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh

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