The Flower Drawings of Piet Mondrian
I have long been a fan of the works of Piet Mondrian from his early days as a naturalist painter to his later work which he called Neoplasticism. Even if you don’t recognize that term, you likely would remember his work immediately upon seeing one of his paintings.
It is Mondrian’s flower drawings that I would like to share here. I encourage our readers to do a Google search on the subject to see an overview of these drawings; there are apparently over 150 of them. They are powerful and delicate works, very figurative in nature. They often show the artists amazing technical skills along with his strong sense of design.
I was able to see a wonderful charcoal drawing of a chrysanthemum at Steven Ongpin Fine Art as part of Master Drawing New York in 2019. There is some illuminating text about Mondrains flower drawings at their site. On his walks along Verwerspad, Mondrian would sometimes end up at the Vis family’s market garden, whose greenhouses were home to an exotic world of flowers. The family grew magnificent chrysanthemums and cyclamens, the former of which particularly fascinated Mondrian.
I was able to find only one book on the subject which is very well reviewed on Amazon. The reference of the book was from this New York Times Article from 1991 about a show in New York City at the Sidney Janis Gallery.
Here is a wonderful passage from that article: Most of the flowers are delicate, with stems suspended in space amid thin color, often pale blue. In some of the images of chrysanthemums, big flowers in ripe, healthy bloom barely disturb the surface of the paper. Ripeness is celebrated yet in danger. Particularly in the chrysanthemums, Mondrian could be almost botanical in his exploration of structure and yet ever a Symbolist in his susceptibility to mood and dream.
If you have had the good fortune of viewing one of these drawings in person we would love to hear about it in the comment section below.