Improvisation 27 (Garden of Love II)

Artist: Vasily Kandinsky (French (born Russia), Moscow 1866–1944 Neuilly-sur-Seine)

Date: 1912

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 47 3/8 x 55 1/4 in. (120.3 x 140.3 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949

Accession Number: 49.70.1


In his influential treatise, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, Kandinsky theorized a new form of artistic expression that would reject the materialist world in favor of emotional and spiritual ideals, using abstract forms and color symbolism to evoke an inner, preconscious world. Composed of dark lines and abstract colorful masses, Improvisation 27 depicts three iterations of an embracing couple surrounded by serpentine forms. Kandinsky hints at the painting’s possible subject in the subtitle "Garden of Love II," likely a reference to biblical Eden.