Inside Kandinsky's Studio in Neuilly

A private visit of the place where Kandinsky created his last masterpieces

Centre Pompidou

Apartment building at 135 boulevard de la Seine in Neuilly-sur-Seine (1938) by Breitenbach, JosephCentre Pompidou

During his final 10 years in Paris, Kandinsky lived in an apartment in Neuilly, on the 7th floor of a grand building on the banks of the Seine.

In three adjoining rooms, he turned the living room into a makeshift studio and blocked off the double doors leading to a smaller living room, so he could shut himself in to work in this larger space with bay windows.

View from the window of the Kandinskys' apartment in Neuilly-sur-Seine (1938) by Breitenbach, JosephCentre Pompidou

On December 3, 1937, Kandinsky wrote to Grohmann saying, "Outside my studio window, a place you know, I can see an incredibly beautiful light, a harmonious gray with very soft yet vibrant colors." 

Wassily Kandinsky's studio in Neuilly-sur-Seine Wassily Kandinsky's studio in Neuilly-sur-Seine (c. 1944) by AnonymousCentre Pompidou

From the few photographs taken during Kandinsky's lifetime, we can see how the studio was organized. 

Shelf with pigments in the studio of Wassily Kandinsky in Neuilly-sur-Seine by AnonymousCentre Pompidou

There were shelves covered in glass pots of powdered pigments, with mortars and large vases filled with bits of string and pencils.  

Above them, Kandinsky hung two of his glass paintings from his time in Munich. 

Statuette of angel belonging to Wassily Kandinsky in the studio in Neuilly-sur-Seine (c. 1980) by Krüger, WernerCentre Pompidou

On the fireplace, there were kitsch and Russian knick-knacks.

In her memoir, Nina Kandinsky wrote: 

"Apart from these ornaments, he wanted nothing on the walls of his studio, especially not his own creations; nothing was to distract him from his work: blank walls guaranteed concentration." 

Wassily Kandinsky in his studio in Neuilly-sur-Seine in front of his library (1938) by Lipnitzki, BernardCentre Pompidou

Kandinsky kept his art books and catalogs in a different corner of the room.

Wassily Kandinsky in his office in Neuilly-sur-Seine (1938) by Lipnitzki, BernardCentre Pompidou

A rough wooden worktop served as a writing and drawing table, and Kandinsky stacked hundreds of drawings, sketches, notebooks, and papers in another basic piece of furniture. 

Wassily Kandinsky's studio in Neuilly-sur-Seine at the time of the bequest in 1981 (1981) by Dubout, JeanCentre Pompidou

The rest of the studio was furnished with armchairs and stacks of unfinished or unsold artworks.  

Palette (c. 1939) by Kandinsky, VassilyCentre Pompidou

The inventory of the artist's materials, instruments, and tools that were moved for conservation, regrouped in the Kandinsky collection at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, was carried out by the restorer Benoît Dagron from 1988. 

The shelf containing pots of pigments in Wassily Kandinsky's studio in Neuilly-sur-Seine (1981) by Faujour, JacquesCentre Pompidou

Letters describe the transportation of various cases containing tools and materials that Kandinsky had continued to stock up on in Germany after 1934.

Tubes and commercial colours by Kandinsky, VassilyCentre Pompidou

Objects taken from the studio include pigments, tubes and pots of paint, adjuvants, materials to be ground and mixed, frames and preparations, tweezers, books found in the studio...

GrindersCentre Pompidou

...technical documentation and "color merchant" catalogs, color charts, various tools such as flat and round brushes, and teaching and drawing materials. 

Wassily Kandinsky's studio in Neuilly-sur-Seine at the time of his death Wassily Kandinsky's studio in Neuilly-sur-Seine at the time of his death (c. 1944) by AnonymousCentre Pompidou

The studio contained both souvenirs of Kandinsky's life and travels, and materials he continued to use.

The Little Red Circle (1944) by Kandinsky, VassilyCentre Pompidou

During his 11 years in Neuilly working in this studio, Kandinsky created 44 paintings, 208 watercolors or gouaches, and a large number of drawings and smaller paintings on cardboard due to a restriction on available supplies during World War Two.

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