Mondrian and the Young Girl

I’ve always found this interesting. Piet Mondrian isn’t exactly remembered for his portraits. His name is pretty much synonymous with rectangles and thick black lines. But, in fact, Mondrian attempted a variety of styles throughout his life, following the trends of his day, from Impressionism, to Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, and finally the grid-like abstract paintings he’s most famous for. Here is a sketch of a nude girl by Mondrian which looks to date from right around his Post-Impressionist/Fauvist period (very early 1900s):

piet-mondrian-nude-girl

A somewhat more famous work is this Fauvist painting, entitled “Evolution Tryptich”:

Piet Mondrian - Evolution Triptych (1911)

Mondrian was a follower of Theosophist Rudolf Steiner, who had some rather peculiar ideas about young girls—he thought they possessed mystical powers. This was supposed to be apparent in the fact that their breasts didn’t yet point at the ground or some such nonsense. (This isn’t precisely relevant to this blog, but I found it to be an interesting little tidbit about Steiner.)

Finally, one of Mondrian’s more traditional paintings of a little girl:

Piet Mondrian - Little Girl (1901)

Artchive: Piet Mondrian (An interesting read if you’re at all curious about the motivations underlying Mondrian’s work.)

Wikipedia: Piet Mondrian

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