Written in 1911, Kandinsky provides a treatise on the meaning of modern art. It is a very subjective and very compelling view of the direction art should take, avoiding the superficial pitfalls that were all so common. He provides a pithy review of Impressionist art and its role in the modern art movement. He notes the successes and shortcomings of Picasso and Matisse as they pushed the envelope of art but weren't quite sure where they wanted to take it.
There is a long chapter on the meaning and importance of color, eschewing the analytical approach. He takes a more subjective approach, noting how color and music can be viewed in similar terms. He talks about the attempt in classical music to create chromatic scales, but Kandinsky prefers to deal with such connections more abstractly, treating color as he would the sounds of instruments, for instance comparing yellow to the blare of the trumpet.
There is a short biography of Kandinsky which serves as an introduction and a preface by the translator, placing Kandinsky in the pantheon of modern artists. The book is by no means exhaustive. Kandinsky's writings have been collected into a marvelous book edited by Peter Vergo, which offers the width and breadth of this artist's vision. But, if you are looking for the short course, this is the place to go.
If you consider yourself religious, and you also love art, this is a book you need to read. Kandinsky was one of our past masters of art. His works were beautiful essays on music, love, and other spiritual issues. It is not often artists are able to express their feelings verbally, but Kandinsky does an excellent job in this classic. Highly recommended for any library.