The great abstract painter Vassily Kandinsky, famed for his colorful geometrical symbology, died on December 13, 1944, at the age of 78. Kandinsky was born in Russia to German parents, then moved to France, where he fit into the school of abstract artists gathering there at the turn of the century. While Kandinsky’s triangles, circles and squares confused a lot of people – including art patrons – he published papers and books on what various colors and shapes meant in his personal mythology. The book “On the Spiritual in Art” defined his philosophy – that of synesthesia – or the crossing over of the senses. (example: tasting music, smelling a house, touching a cloud)
Also passing on December 13 in history were English author and philosopher Samuel Johnson (1784, age 73), and another visual artist, Florentine sculptor Donatello, in 1466, at age 80. Wow – these two men of culture lived to very ripe old ages for their individual times.