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Truncated View of the Broekzijder Mill is one of Piet Mondrian's very early pieces of art
The Broekzijder Mill is located in Mondrian's native country of the Netherlands, and this painting provides a rare glimpse into the impressionistic, traditional past of an artist known for a very different abstract approach.
Painted around 1902-03, Truncated View of the Broekzijder Mill was created almost ten years before Mondrian's historic move to Paris. At this stage Mondrian was working as a primary school teacher and was painting under the style imprinted upon him by his father and uncle, the traditional approach taught by the Hague School of Artists. Mondrian's work of this era tends to be depictions of landscapes, painted in a naturalistic and impressionistic manner.
His representation of the Broekzijder Mill is one that is relatively life like and visually comparable to the real thing. It's representation of something physically existent makes it, on the face of it, fundamentally different to his later abstract style.
There are, however, links between this work and the later pieces Mondrian is so famous for. Mondrian's philosophy of how the universe is deeply connected, harmonious, and his idea that humans should change their outlook on life to one of cooperation and peace can be seen in this painting.
For example, the reflection of the mill in the water in the foreground is not only particularly beautiful, it shows a strong sense of tranquility and peace. The way in which the different shades of blue used in the sky amalgamate together to form one collective backdrop is representative of Mondrian's concept of the universe consisting of individual parts harmoniously coming together to create a greater whole.
Truncated View of the Broekzijder Mill is a piece of art that is not only innately beautiful and representative of a side of Mondrian rarely seen, it is also an indication of the origins the world view Mondrian became so best known for and which influenced the many masterpieces he went on to produce.