The connection between painting and music was more than just a metaphorical analogy for Kandinsky. He most likely had synesthesia, a condition in which two or more of a person’s senses are intertwined. One indication of this was the striking experience he once had during a performance of Wagner’s Lohengrin, in which he had a vision of lines and colors that presented themselves in tandem with the opera’s score.
Kandinsky noted that, even without synesthesia, colors had implicit aural qualities: No one would associate yellow with low notes nor deep blue with high notes. Colors affected the viewer, therefore, with respect not only to their visual associations but also to the sounds they produced (whether or not they were consciously heard), and a painting would do well to be composed like a musical score.
In Point and Line to Plane (1926), Kandinsky expands on elements such as rhythm and amplification. An artist should experiment with repetition, ordering, and scale, not just with colors but also with points, lines, and planes. These, he believed, were the building blocks of a composition.