Overview

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Piet Mondriaan (Amersfoort 1872-1944 New York)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Piet Mondriaan (Amersfoort 1872-1944 New York)

Farmstead on the Gein screened by tall trees with streaked sky

Details
Piet Mondriaan (Amersfoort 1872-1944 New York)
Farmstead on the Gein screened by tall trees with streaked sky
signed 'Piet Mondriaan' (lower right)
oil on canvas
67 x 93 cm.
Painted circa 1907.
Provenance
Anonymous sale; Sotheby Mak van Waay, Amsterdam, 26 April 1977, lot 397.
with Kunsthandel G.J. Scherpel, Bussum, where acquired by the family of the present owners.
Literature
J.M. Joosten, R.P. Welsh, Piet Mondrian Catalogue Raisonné of the Naturalistic Works (until early 1911), Blaricum, 1998, p. 351, no. A494.
Jan Jaap Heij, Hollands impressionisme, Bussum, 2013, p. 81.
Exhibited
Laren, Singer Museum, Expressionisme in Nederland 1910-1930, 17
November 1994-19 February 1995, no. 71 as: Landschap, het Gein, 1907.
Rome, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Il primo Mondrian, 27 October 1995-21 January 1996, no. 40.
Laren, Singer Museum, Jan Sluijters 1881-1957, 16 June 2011-22 January 2012, no. 8.
Laren, Singer Museum, Hollands impressionisme, 30 May-25 August 2013.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

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Kimberley Oldenburg

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Lot Essay

Farmstead on the Gein screened by tall trees with streaked sky was painted around 1907, during a crucial pivotal point in the career of Piet Mondriaan. This picture pre-dates his involvement with Theosophy and with Neo-Plasticism; it was painted more than half a decade before he approached abstraction, yet already reveals some of the armature upon which his later, rigorous pictures were based. For in Farmstead on the Gein screened by tall trees with streaked sky, there is already a clear focus on the horizontal, on the struts of verticality of the trees and reeds, and of fields and strips of colour.

Mondriaan has created a lyrical, evocative work in which he has summoned the atmosphere of evening through the vivid golden streaks of cloud in the sky as well as the more delicate pinks, all contrasting with the landscape enshrouded in twilight. Farmstead on the Gein screened by tall trees with streaked sky is filled with luminosity. Indeed, it comes as little surprise to find that at this time, Mondriaan was associated with 'Luminist' painting, a name which referred to the intense role played by light in works such as this.

The view in Farmstead on the Gein screened by tall trees with streaked sky appears to show the Geinrust farm which featured in a number of other pictures that Mondriaan painted during the middle of the first decade of the Twentieth Century. Its convenient location near his studio in Amsterdam, yet essentially in the countryside, meant that it reappeared in a number of pictures, viewed from several angles. Indeed, in regards to the composition shown in Farmstead on the Gein screened by tall trees with streaked sky, a related charcoal exists which may have been begun in situ and completed in the studio. In addition are four other oil paintings of various dimensions. The whereabouts of one of these are listed as unknown; two are in the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague and one was sold in the Yves Saint Laurent sale at Christie's Paris in 2008.

The pinks, yellows and purplish-greys that appear in Farmstead on the Gein screened by tall trees with streaked sky appear to prefigure the palette shown in some of Mondriaan's later works, in which he developed a more overt abstract visual idiom, for instance Composition 6 and Composition in Oval with Colour Planes, both of 1914, both in the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague. This reveals the thread of continuity that led Mondriaan from the riverbanks of the Gein to the abstract grids that would become so iconic and so associated with his name and reputation. Despite this, it was with the 'Luminist' landscapes such as Farmstead on the Gein screened by tall trees with streaked sky that Mondriaan began to forge a wider reputation. This picture therefore dates from the beginnings of his hallmark style, and also of his international success.

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