A crowd has assembled beneath the porch of the church of St Ludwig as a religious procession passes by. This scene, which took place a few metres from Kandinsky’s apartment, was sketched by the artist in one of his notebooks of late 1908, accompanied by precise notes on colour.
Kandinsky had been interested in Signac’s Pointillist technique since 1904, as can be seen in his paintings of “tales” painted between 1905 and 1907. The present work returns to those gem-like brushstrokes and dark backgrounds but deploys a vibrant, arbitrary palette derived from Matisse and the Fauve painters, whose work the artist had seen in Paris in 1906 and 1907. Kandinsky differs, however, from the French painters in the way that he establishes a marked contrast between the small patches of colour (many of them totally non-figurative) and the black background, giving the work an abstract-decorative quality.