Russian painter Wassily Kandinski was born in 1866 and died in 1944. He is credited with painting the first purely abstract works and was one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. He started out as a lawyer and didn’t begin painting until the age of thirty. Having lived in Germany, he returned to Russia in 1914 after the start of World War I. He was unsympathetic to the official theories on art in Communist Moscow and returned to Germany in 1921. He taught at the Bauhaus school of art and architecture until the Nazis shut it down in 1933. He then moved to Paris, where he became a French citizen and lived until his death in 1944.