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The art of Kandinsky



Author André Breton
Person cited Vassily Kandinsky


Handwritten manuscript of a preface by André Breton for an exhibition by Wassily Kandinsky in February 1938.

If Breton never displayed a particularly strong interest in abstraction, especially after the war, the specific work of Wassily Kandinsky nevertheless commanded his greatest respect: having visited his first Paris exhibition in 1936, Breton wrote to express his admiration. This is a short preface that he offered the artist in 1938, evoking his status as ‘one of the very first, one of the greatest revolutionaries of vision.’ [Atelier André Breton website, 2005]

Signed handwritten manuscript, dated 2nd February 1938.
- 1 in-4° manuscript page on the back of headed notepaper for Minotaure, signed and dated in green ink by André Breton, with a few deletions and corrections of this text relating to Kandinsky.
‘Kandinsky’s art appears to me as the most philosophically inspired since that of Seurat: no other painter is as motivated to distinguish between what is essential and what is accidental around him, or to make us rediscover within nature an image of ourselves … Kandinsky’s admirable eye, scarcely veiled behind glass, forms with that glass a pure crystal… The eye belongs to one of the very first, one of the greatest revolutionaries of vision.’ 

New edition of Le Surréalisme et la peinture, Gallimard, 1965. [Auction catalogue, 2003]


Translated by Krzysztof Fijalkowski


- André Breton (Édition publiée sous la direction d'Étienne-Alain Hubert avec la collaboration de Philippe Bernier et Marie-Claire Dumas), « Kandinsky », Le Surréalisme et la Peinture, Œuvres complètes, tome IV, Écrits sur l'art et autres textes, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, Paris, Gallimard, 2008, p. 696-697.


Creation date02-févr.-38
Bibliographical material

1 in-4° page.

André Breton, ‘Kandinsky’, Le Surréalisme et la Peinture, Œuvres complètes, volume IV, Écrits sur l'art et autres textes (edition established by Marguerite Bonnet and edited by Étienne-Alain Hubert with contributions from Philippe Bernier and Marie-Claire Dumas), Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, Paris, Gallimard, 2008, pp. 696-97.

Date of publication 1938
Physical descriptionManuscrit - encre verte sur papier en-tête de la revue Minotaure
Breton Auction, 2003Lot 2215
Keywords, , ,
CategoriesAndre Breton's Manuscripts
Set[Breton's Manuscripts and Drawings] dossier Le Surréalisme et la peinture
ExhibitionWassily Kandinsky, 1938
Permanent link
Exhibition place