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    Wassily Kandinsky – Gabriele Münter im Freien vor der Staffelei  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £5.3 MILLION.

    A 1910 painting by Wassily Kandinsky of Gabriele Münter Painting Outdoors in front of an Easel  comes up at Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening and Day sales in London on  June 19 and 20 June.   The auctions will include a spectrum of works by some of the most important, challenging and powerful German and Austrian artists of the 20th century. Featuring paintings and works on paper, many of which are completely fresh to the market, by leading figures such as Wassily Kandinsky, Emil Nolde, Franz Marc, Alexej von Jawkensky, August Macke, Max Liebermann and Egon Schiele, the group of over 65 works constitutes one of Sotheby’s largest offerings of German and Austrian art in recent years.

    Leading the group is  the Kandinsky which is estimated at £3.5 million.  It marks the artist’s definitive transition into abstraction. His first major breakthrough was his discovery of how colour, when disassociated from representational concerns, could become the principal subject of a painting. In this work, he achieved a delicate balance between the subtle figuration of Gabriele Münter – his companion, lover and fellow artist – and the almost completely abstracted landscape that surrounds her. In 1908 they discovered the small town of Murnau in the foothills of the Alps, and the unique context of the Bavarian countryside was key to Kandinsky’s move towards abstraction. Münter appears in four paintings from this period, of which this oil is the only one still in private hands. The work originally belonged to Jawlensky, who kept it in his collection until his death in 1941, perhaps as a memento of the happy, productive years he spent in Murnau alongside Kandinsky in a spirit of communal and artistic collaboration.

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