This joyful composition underlines the Russian roots of Kandinsky, and also provides a bright and groundbreaking artwork which displays peasant life in all its glory. Russia itself has gone through phases of self expression and then more restriction from ruling powers, but some how the nation has still managed to provide some incredible artists across a variety of movements. Kandinsky is probably the most famous of those today, perhaps just ahead of Marc Chagall, who himself was from modern-day Belarus. There was also some extraordinary political upheaval within the country in the early 20th century which again fuelled new art forms and interpretations, just as WWII would later do elsewhere in Europe.

"...In Colorful life where I was carried away by the task to create the masses, spots and lines mixture, I used the bird’s eye panorama view to place the figures one behind the other. In order to settle zones boundaries and allocate the strokes as I wanted, I had to find a perspective excuses or pretexts for any particular case..."

Russian themes were common in the artist's early work. We can see the same within this painting, with a number of figures dressed in traditional clothing, whilst the architecture at the back of the scene is clearly of the same region. He was proud of his nation and also loved to depict all levels of society within it, holding a particular connection to the poorer parts of society, just as earlier seen in the paintings of artists like Bruegel, Millet and Courbet. Although his travels took him far and wide, and styles changed over time, he would never lose his love of this great nation.

Sadly, the painting has become embroiled in a legal battle over its correct ownership. It is alleged that the work was essentially taken without permission during WWII and sold on, without any remuneration being given to the existing Jewish owners. Legal challenges have been made therefore to return it's ownership to the family of that period. This is another episode in the ongoing challenges that have occurred in recent years due to the undeniable efforts of the ruling German powers of that period to control the art world and to dictate what was acceptable and what was not. They also sought to reduce the financial strength of the Jewish community, and so there may well have been some truth to the claims being made. Many other items were actually completely destroyed by the Nazis, and so one positive is that at least the items being claimed at the moment can still be appreciated by the public for future generations.

Colourful Life in Detail Wassily Kandinsky