Circles in a Circle Wassily Kandinsky Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Kandinsky brought his circles into the foreground for the first time in this artwork from 1923, which was titled Circles in a Circle. It is a particularly tidy piece with most elements contained neatly within a large thick circle.

This painting from 1923 can now be found under the ownership of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This highly significant art institution features an excellent overall collection of European art, including Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists. There is also a good number of articles from other regions and periods to satisfy almost any artistic taste. With regards the Europeans, you can find the likes of Renoir, Monet, Manet, Degas and Cézanne all represented here. There is also the Rodin Museum for sculpture fans, located very close by. In all, there is enough original, historic art in this city to keep you busy for a long weekend, probably even longer for those with sufficient attention spans and a passion for a variety of artistic styles.

"...It is the first picture of mine to bring the theme of circles to the foreground..."

There are two bright beams of colour which jut in from the corners of the painting, intercepting each other diagonally, in the centre of the work. One is green, the other yellow. This provides colour but also forces your focus towards the centre, where a flurry of small circles can be found. Most of them overlap each other, with the artist also adding a series of sharp lines alongside. It appears random, but the artist always worked with planning and precision. He did not work spontaneously, even though some of his abstract pieces would sometimes appear so. In order to provide an organised atmosphere to this painting, a thick stroke of black encircles the other main elements, and the remaining space outside is left entirely blank, other than the two stripes we mentioned earlier. The work feels particularly modern, with its sharp lines and shapes, so it may surprise some to know that it was completed as early as 1923 - this underlines the creativity of this groundbreaking artist. You will find many more variations on this theme within our collection of famous Kandinsky paintings, though in many he also experimented with squares too, and how the two shapes could interact with each other.

Circles in a Circle in Detail Wassily Kandinsky