Monet’s "Haystacks" played a crucial role in the emergence of modern art... and inspried Vasily Kandinsky to create a series of abstract compositions, including this "Composition V," 1911.
In 1896, Kandinsky saw Monet’s "Haystacks" in an exhibition that travelled to St. Petersburg. Monet’s paintings changed his life. He wrote:
"The painting showed itself to me in all its fantasy and all its enchantment. Deep within me the first doubt arose about the the importance of the object as a necessary element in a picture."
The object is not fixed … and fixed objects are not essential. In 1910, only 14 years later, Kandinsky was among the first to paint a completely abstract painting.
Modern art is filled with stories of inspiration from the past. Newton’s ideas about color inspired a modern series of paintings by Frantisek Kupka. And perhaps under the stimulus of Goethe in 1910-11, Franz Marc painted his god Russi as seen through a prism, and he recorded colored fringes at the junctions of light and dark.