Born in 1866 in Mosca, Russia; died in 1944 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.
After graduating in law, he turns down the offer to teach at the university in order to devote himself not only to painting but also to music, which will be subsequently crucial to his artistic development. In 1896, he moved to Monaco, in Germany, to continue his studies in painting. In 1902, he exhibited for the first time with the Berlin Secession and, between 1903 and 1904 he visited Italy, Netherlands, Africa, Russia and France, where in 1904 he exhibited in the Salon d’Automne in Paris. In 1909, he published The Spiritual in Art, convinced that painting should be similar to music and that colours should assimilate sounds, he advocates an abstract painting free from the physical object. In 1911, with Franz Marc he founded the avant-garde magazine Der Blaue Raiter (The Blue Rider), starting an intense period of work. He returned to Russia at the outbreak of World War I, and was appointed to important public offices after the October Revolution: he created the Institute for Painting’s Culture and founded the Academy of Artistic Sciences. In 1921, he traveled to Germany to never return again. In 1922, he is called by Walter Gropius to teach at the Bauhaus in Weimar where he meets Paul Klee, Alexej Jawlensky and Lyonel Feininger, with whom he founds the group Die Blaue Vier (The four blue), ideally linked to the Blue Rider. After the closure of the Bauhaus in 1933, he moved to France, where he lived and worked until his last days.