Piet Mondrian

Piet Mondriaan was born on the 7th of March 1872 in Amersfoort (Netherlands). His father also named Piet was a christian teacher and gave their family a strict upbringing. In 1880 the family moved to Winterswijk. His father painted feast and memorial plaques and also his son painted a lot. Piet followed a course for sign teacher but never managed to get a job. He then decided to become a painter like his uncle Frits who painted landscapes in the style of the Hague School. Together with his uncle they painted many landscapes. 

Trees at the Gein (1907-1908)

Windmill In Sunlight (1908)

At the age of 20 in 1892 Piet moved to Amsterdam to study to become a painting artist. His father refused to pay for his study costs but he was given a scholarship by the Dutch Royal House for 2 years. After that a hard time followed where he had to make a living by creating bacteriological drawings, copying paintings from museums and also teaching. Eventually he started selling his landscape drawings and met other artists. At that moment he started to develop his own style. Heavily influenced by painters like Breitner and Isaac Israëls. The influence from Van Gogh can be seen for example in his work "Windmill by sunlight". Then he started to develop neoplasticism by painting geometrical elements and became heavely influenced by universal religious filosophy. Clearly visible in his work "Evolution (1910-1911).

Evolution (1910-1911)

The grey tree (1912)


Composition 4 (1913)

In 1912 he moved to Paris (France) where he changed his name to Piet Mondrian which is an anagram for "I Paint Modern". There he saw the work of Picasso, Diego Rivera and Amedeo Modigliani. Under the influence of cubism his work became more abstract. In 1914 he moved back to the Netherlands to visit his sick father when World War I broke out. Therefore he couldn't return to France. He started living in Laren, an artists' village, where he together with Bart van der Leck, Theo van Doesburg and Vilmos Huszàr founded the art movement "De Stijl". He also published a magazine about this new art movement.

Compostion 10 in black and white (1915)

Compostion with red, yellow, blue and black (1920)

After World War I in 1919 he returned to Paris but was disappointed that the cubism there didn't evolve. His art didn't impress there and therefore he was forced to also paint flowers in order to make a living. But when his art finally started to get attention he moved to London but was frequently bombed by germans when World War II broke out. He then moved to New York where he became influenced by boogiewoogie and blues music. For example in his work "Broadway-Boogie-Woogie" this was visible.

Broadway-Boogie-Woogie (1942/43)

One of his most famous works is "Victory Boogie Woogie" that is his last unfinished work. He died of pneumonia in 1944.

Victory Boogie Woogie (1942-44)

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