Artist: Wassily Kandinsky / Münter

Test: ultraviolet, infrared light, reflectography, X-rays

Wassily Kandinsky

In preparation for an exhibition titled “Kandinsky’s ‘Painting With White Border’,” five paintings were sent to conservators at the Harvard Art Museum. Several tests were performed on the paintings, including ultraviolet and infrared light testing as well as reflectography and X-rays. The tests helped to reveal the materials used, as well as the artist’s process. The research revealed that one of Kandinsky’s paintings titled, “Sketch I for Painting with White Border (Moscow)” dated 1913, contained another composition below the surface. Even more groundbreaking, the discovered painting is not believed to be by Kandinsky himself but by his girlfriend. Kandinsky’s girlfriend, Münter, was also a painter. The discovery raises more questions about the artists’ working relationship and how they were informed by each others work.

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