white flower against brown background

Chrysanthemum, 1900

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Piet Mondrian is famous for his paintings of irregular black grids on white backgrounds interspersed with rectangles in bright primary colors. Less familiar are the still lives and landscapes from earlier in his career.

"Chrysanthemum" of 1900 reveals his early taste for naturalism inherited from the Hague School but ultimately indebted to the influence of the French Barbizon painters. In an autobiographical essay, Mondrian confessed: "I was always a realist . . . I always enjoyed painting flowers, not bouquets, but a single flower at a time." This austere presentation of the chrysanthemum is nonetheless innovative. Mondrian would renew his interest in flower painting again around 1908, but he substituted the natural brownish palette used here for a brighter, more artificial one.

Artist Life
1872 - 1944
Accession Number
1919-1955: Purchased from the artist (inv. No. 783) by S.B. Slijper, Blaricum, The Netherlands; 1955: Harold Diamond, New York; c.1959: Martin Widdifield Gallery, New York; 1959: Bruce B. Dayton, Wayzata, MN
Catalogue Raisonne
Robert Welsh, 1998, no. A109
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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white flower against brown background