Open Green
Vassily Kandinsky (Russian, 1866–1944)
On View

Kandinsky was a trailblazer of modern art, a practitioner of radical abstraction and the author of key theoretical works concerned with the spiritual and formal aspects of art. In Open Green, painted in 1923, his interests in spirituality and form create a dreamscape of color and shape that is both abstract and figurative. Born in Moscow, Kandinsky was a devoted student of Russian folklore and icon painting. In this painting, the combination of shapes—such as the circle pierced by a slender diagonal line, the two curving black commas and the colorful checkerboard— has been read as a depiction of Saint George, the patron of the Russian Orthodox church. With his lance and shield held up high, the equestrian gallops into the heavens.


  • Artist Name: Vassily Kandinsky (Russian, 1866–1944)
  • Title: Open Green
  • Date: 1923
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 38-1/4 x 38-1/4 in. (97.2 x 97.2 cm)
  • Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation
  • Accession Number: F.1971.4.P
  • Copyright: © The Norton Simon Foundation

Object Information

[Galerie Arnold (Ludwig Gutbier), Dresden, acquired from artist by 1936, to];
[Galerie Ferdinand Möller, Berlin, 1936-1939, to];
Rudolf Bauer, Berlin, by February, 1939;
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 1939 - (Sotheby's, New York, 20 October 1971, p. 22-23, no. 17)

Art of Tomorrow

  • New York, Museum of Non-Objective Painting, 1939-06-01 to

In Memory of Wassily Kandinsky

  • New York, Museum of Non-Objective Painting, 1945-03-15 to

Vasily Kandinsky 1866-1944, A Retrospective Exhibition

  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1962-01-01 to
  • Pasadena Art Museum, 1963-01-15 to 1963-02-15
  • San Francisco Museum of Art, 1963-03-01 to 1963-04-01
  • Portland, The Portland Art Museum, 1963-04-15 to 1963-05-15
  • Marion Koogler McNay Art Institute, 1963-06-01 to 1963-07-01
  • Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 1963-07-15 to 1963-08-25
  • Baltimore Museum of Art, 1963-09-19 to 1963-10-20
  • Columbus Museum of Art, 1963-11-05 to 1963-12-05
  • St. Louis, Washington University Art Gallery, 1963-12-22 to 1964-01-06
  • Montreal, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1964-02-05 to 1964-03-05
  • Worcester, Worcester Art Museum, 1964-03-20 to 1964-04-20

Dresdner Kunstgenossenschaft und Dresdner Secesssion

  • Brühlsche Terrasse (Dresden, Germany), 1924-06-28 to 1924-09

Wassili Kandinsky

  • Wiesbaden, Neues Museum, 1925-01-11 to 1925-02-28

Wassily Kandinsky

  • Bochum, Gemaldegalerie, 1925-04 to
  • Dusseldorf, Galerie Nierendorf, 1925-10 to 1925-11
  • Barmen, Ruhmeshalle, 1925-03-12 to

Kandinsky: Jubilaums-Ausstellung zum 60. Geburtstage

  • Galerie Ernst Arnold (Dresden, Germany), 1926-10-16 to 1926-11-10
  • Galerie Neumann-Nierendorf, 1926-11-14 to 1926-12-15
  • Dessau, Anhaltischer Kunstverein, 1926-12-19 to
  • Munich, Neue Kunst Hans Goltz, 1927-03-14 to 1927-04-14

Kandinsky Paintings and Graphics: Retrospective of Kandinsky's Bauhaus Years

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1989-01-19 to 1990-01-14


  • Norton Simon Museum, 1994-01-13 to 1994-09-11

Wassily Kandinsky Memorial

  • , 1945-01-01 to

The Blue Four and Their Contemporaries

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1991-06-20 to 1992-05-24

My Four Kings: Galka Scheyer and the Blue Four

  • Norton Simon Museum, 2002-12-13 to 2003-04-14
  • Brommer, Gerald, Exploring Painting, pp. 201, 399
  • Grohmann, Will, Der Cicerone, p. 895
  • Grohmann, Will, Wassily Kandinsky, Life and Work, 1958, no. 263, pl. 361 pp. 186, 334, 361
  • Roethel, Hans K. and Jean K. Benjamin, Kandinsky: Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil Paintings 1916-1944, 1984, no. 704
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, 1989, p. 191
  • Campbell Abdo, Sara, Wassily Kandinsky, 1994, p. 23
  • Weiss, Peg, Kandinsky and Old Russia: The Artist as Ethnographer and Shaman, 1995, no. 134 pp. 146-147
  • Barnett, Vivian Endicott, The Blue Four Collection at the Norton Simon Museum, 2002, no. 286 pp. 242-243
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 747 p. 334
Audio Tour
English | Español
Audio Tour Transcript
English | Español
English | Español
Transcripción de Audioguía
English | Español

Additional Artwork by Artist

Blue Vassily Kandinsky 1922
Lithograph for the Fourth Bauhaus Portfolio Vassily Kandinsky 1922
Lithograph No. III Vassily Kandinsky 1925

Image reproduction permission may be granted for scholarly or arts related commercial use. All image requests, regardless of their intended purpose, should be submitted via the reproduction request form.

Images may be protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. Additional permission may be required.

Approved requests for the reproduction of an image will receive a contract detailing all fees and conditions of use of the image. Upon receipt of both the signed contract and full payment, the Office of Rights and Reproductions will provide the image. A complimentary copy of the published material must be provided to the Norton Simon Museum.

Reproduction Request Form