Wassily Kandinksy (1866-1944) was a painter known for his exceptional ability to connect with audiences through music, color, and abstraction. He was born in Russia, but spent most of his life living in Germany. He was particularly inspired by The Impressionists, such as Claude Monet and Édouard Manet. He was enamored with the way that these artists were able to communicate a world of beauty and fantasy by painting in an untraditional manor. Kandinsky was taught to play the piano and cello as a child, which would go on to influence his passion for communicating music through the painting medium. He was thought to have the condition synesthesia, which helped him hear tones while he painted and communicate them through distinct strokes and colors. Today he is credited as one of the leaders of abstraction in western art, paving the way for modern day abstract artists.