Piet Mondrian - Artist Biography with Portfolio of Paintings, Drawings and Prints
This section covers the career of Dutch abstract artist Piet Mondrian.
Piet Mondrian was a talented Dutch modern artist who was famous for his compositions of red, blue and yellow lines on white backgrounds. Piet Mondrian originally started off as a more traditional painter who produced portraits of trees within the Dutch landscape but he eventually grew tired of this and preferred to take a new, far more abstract path which led to the fame which he has enjoyed ever since. This website focuses on the life and career of Piet Mondrian and presents his best paintings for your interest. The artist was actually originally known as Mondriaan, but he changed this to Mondrian somewhere between 1905 and 1907, though no-one is really quite sure why. The Mondriaan House, a museum devoted to his work, retains his birth name as it is in this area that he spent his youth within the Netherlands.
Many of Mondrian's other paintings are now strewn right across the world thanks to the exceptional success which his career has enjoyed ever since the middle of the 20th century. Piet Mondrian - the abstract style of Piet Mondrian, with his primary colours and clear shapes has made his paintings extremely well suited to modern homes where reproductions of his work can comfortably sit alongside others features of a modern house. For this reason, reproductions art prints, posters and stretched canvases of original Mondrian paintings are extremely common thanks to the highly accessible nature of his work and also the fact that his reputation has now spread right across the world.
The frequency of Mondrian prints being bought means we decided to offer them straight from this website, via the Art.com Mondrian gallery which is linked to from here. Feel free to click through to find out more about the products that they offer and Art.com also have excellent customer services for those looking to buy online for the first time. We have bought Mondrian paintings ourselves from Art.com and find their prices extremely competitive compared to others on the market.
Broadway Boogie Woogie
Piet Mondrian's most famous painting is Broadway Boogie Woogie which is a complex abstract art work which depicts the city of New York from a top-down birdseye view, with yellow squares used to represent the city's iconic taxis. This piece is considerably more detailed and complicated than his better known style of abstract lines, normally with just a few per painting. These simpler compositions are exceptionally contemporary and still seem relevant today even with all the others new art movements that appear all the time.
Piet Mondrian is an important figure within Dutch art because he achieved great things at a time when Dutch art was not as significant as it had been previously. Most famous painters from the Netherlands were part of the Dutch Golden Age which was a traditional movement many centuries previously, and included the likes of Vermeer amongst many others. There were highly respected Dutch schools which produced fine artists for many years, but Dutch art is far less known for contributions within the 20th century when Mondrian was prominent.
Red, Blue and Yellow Composition
Red Blue Yellow Composition above is a painting which best characterises the respected later work of Piet Mondrian which is loosely termed as Neoplasticism, which was a label that the artist himself created in journals which he wrote himself in conjunction with fellow painter Van Doesburg. These abstract forms were groundbreaking at the time and helped to bring modern art into the mainstream, where it is now thoroughly accepted by most art academics.
Whilst Piet Mondrian is best known as an abstract artist there has in recent years been a rising interest in some of his earlier works which included red and grey trees plus some paintings of windmills, amongst others. We have aimed to make the images of his work included here truly comprehensive of his whole career, and so there are also plenty of this style of work to be found around this website as well. It is always impressive to see a mixture of styles within any career, and most abstract painters started off with more traditional work as they learnt their trade.
Red, Yellow and Blue
Red, Yellow and Blue were the frequent colours that Piet Mondrian would boldly decorate his Neoplasticist paintings with, using these colours to create thick lines across an otherwise neutral canvas which would leave a very clear finish with minimal detail. Mondrian would normally use black lines to separate his blocks of colour and these constrasted brilliantly against the white which was left in the remaining parts of each painting. Piet Mondrian sadly had to move home several times during the outbreak of the second world war, first leaving for London before moving onto America where he remained for his remaining years. It is pleasing to see an artist who brought so much to the art world, with his theories plus technical abiliy, to remain highly respected and much loved even today with his paintings proving highly popular as fine art print reproductions for his many fans around the world.
Composition II uses grey as a background negative space color, when normally he would choose white as you will see elsewhere on this site. Many modern art painters use simple naming schemes, and many of Mondrian's are simply Composition with a sequence number.
Tableau I came about in 1921 and Mondrian's fine work currently resides in the Ludwiq Museum in Cologne. The style found in this painting is synonamous with the best known approach of Mondrian during the peak of his career, using abstract blocks of color separated by strokes of black between each block of color.
Serigraph take abstact art about as far as Mondrian ever went, with use of just three colors, two of which were chosen purely as background colors. The simple blue square becomes the centerpiece of the work due to the simplicity of the rest.
Gray Tree and other related paintings provide examples of Mondrian's work away from his best known style of abstract blocks. Mondrian painted trees and windmills frequently in the early parts of his career and used an abstract, expressionist style which has attracted additional fans to his work besides those drawn in by his rectangular compositions.
Rhytmus features closer lines than in many other of his paintings. This gives us a greater variety of sizes and shapes of his coloured blocks, some very small when between the perpendicular tramlines. Yellow and blue are the two colours chosen here to stand out alongside the white negative space and black lines.
Sans Titre focuses the eyes on the largest area of the piece which is a bold red, whilst yellows and blues make up the other focal points of this painting, with black and white making up the rest of the work. Primary and secondary colors were fundamental to the work of Mondrian who stuck to similar shades of each color across his abstract work.
Victory Boogie-Woogie came right at the end of Mondrian's career and this painting was sadly left unfinished in 1944. The painting is now under ownership of the Dutch nation having been gifted by the Dutch Central Bank from private collectors. It bears obvious resemblances to Broadway Boogie Woogie and respresents an artist who was starting to produce more detailed abstract work towards the end of his career.
List of Famous Piet Mondrian Paintings
Please see below for a summarised list of the best Piet Mondrian paintings that are featured throughout this website.
Apple Tree in Bloom
Broadway Boogie Woogie
Composition Blanc Rouge Noir
Composition with Blue
Composition with Yellow
Lozenge Composition with Red Black Blue Yellow
Moulin au Soleil
Place de la Concorde
Red Yellow Blue Composition
Rhythm of Black Lines
Rhythm of Straight Lines
Still life with Ginger Pot
Victory Boogie Woogie
Windmill by the Water
Hi, I'm Tom!
I'm the writer and founder of TheHistoryOfArt.org. I have studied different art movements for over 15 years, and am also an amateur artist myself! Read my bio here.