Thursday, January 30, 2014

Worth a Thousand Words: Blue Rider

Wassily Kandinsky, 1903, Blue Rider
via WikiPaintings
WikiPaintings' commentary points out something I hadn't noticed:
The painting’s intentional abstractness had led many art theorists to project their own representations onto the figure, some seeing a child in the arms of the blue rider. Allowing viewers to participate in the representations of the art was a technique that Kandinsky would use to great fruition in his many later works, which became more and more abstract as his career wore on.
This puts me in mind of a large painting my parents had which was very abstract. I looked at it idly all through my youth, sometimes seeing the inside of a cave with stalactites, sometimes seeing a river and waterfall, occasionally wondering what the painter intended and what other people saw in the painting when they looked. I'm not sure but I think it might have been titled Mirage. Why I never asked anyone else in my family what they saw in the painting, I don't know. It was an internal meditation which I never felt needed airing.

In that spirit, is the rider going to something or away? Are the shadows an encroaching threat or receding in the face of the light? Obviously this is a painting which could reward the viewer with something new many times.


  1. Clearly it's Gandalf and Pippin racing off to Minas Tirith!

  2. And that white horse is Shadowfax! How did I not see that before!