Improvisation 33 (Orient I)

Improvisation 33 (Orient I), 1913, Kandinsky, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Improvisation 33 (Orient I), 1913, Kandinsky, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

Improvisation 33 (Orient 1) is less abstract than it appears at first sight. It is part of a series of works with the title of ‘Improvisation’, each of which has its own number. Preliminary studies and related works show that this is a variation on the theme of the Garden of Eden. It has always been assumed that the biblical Paradise was situated in the Middle East, the ‘Orient’ of the title. This interpretation allows the viewer to see allusions to this classic theme in the abstract forms. The horizontal shape in the foreground on the left can be seen as the depiction of a reclining woman or a couple, and the blue oval as a spouting fountain. A tower can be recognised in the background on the left, while the black shape beside it may be seen as an abstract interpretation of thoughts of disaster; the black cloud of the Fall?

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