Sunday, March 20, 2011

Der Blaue Rieter

Art History Unstuffed of March 18 gives a brief history of Der Blaue Rieter (The Blue Rider), a group of artists in Germany in the early part of the twentieth century, the best known member of which is Wassily Kandinsky.

In 1912, Kandinsky wrote Concerning the Spiritual in Art, which fused Theosophy and the teachings of Rudolf Steiner and Madame Helena Blavatsky on the universality of all elements. Like many of the art colonies in Germany, their intense interest in all things spiritual was paradoxical. The Blue Rider came to an end by the Great War when it broke out in August, 1914 and scattered the artists. Leaving Gabriel M√ľnter behind in Switzerland, Kandinsky returned to Russia where he married his second wife. Tragically, Franz Marc was killed in action. Kandinsky and Klee were reunited after the War at the Bauhaus, where the now-mature artists were installed as master teachers.

Art History Unstuffed, which describes itself as “a new way to learn the history of art, on line, at your convenience, in your own time, on your own terms,” notes:

For too long art history has been held hostage by scholars speaking to scholars and not to people. The purpose of this site is to educate and to inform and to do so with respect to the intelligence of the readers. Designed as a site for serious students of art history in need of solid substantive material, Art History Unstuffed is written for Twenty-First century learners who prefer reading “text-bytes” and “sound-bytes” of targeted information. Written by a published scholar who has researched and consolidated both well-respected classical sources and vetted the latest research, this site creates a middle ground between arcane scholarly jargon and informed discourse that is accessible to all.

This post and many others of interest, such as Orphism and Simultaneity, Late Nineteenth Century Social Philosophy, and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, trends that would have been part of Blavatsky’s world, can be accessed here.

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