Please note this painting is accompagnied by original correspondance between the artist and Dr. Erlenmeyer, who acquired the piece directly from him.
César Domela joined the De Stijl movement in 1925. Forming around the artist Piet Mondrian, whose theories about colour and space were the basis of the de Stijl's aesthetic, this group shared Mondrian's deeply rooted attitudes about the arts and society and his utopian vision. The search for an essential truth in the arts and in social forms was fundamental to this vision, and it was believed, could only be revealed through the use of the most direct, elemental means: primary colour, rectangular form and asymmetrical compositions.
Having developed from his synthetic cubist representations of nature, Composition of 1926 was painted at a time when Domela had fully absorbed the de Stijl. It is a pure example of this total harmony which according to the shared beliefs of the members of the group could only be rendered by features such as the straight line, or right angle, the diagonal versus the vertical, and the colours red, yellow blue, black, white and grey. Later the achievements Domela made in works such as the present composition, led him to to translating these principles into three dimension in his reliefs and sculptures.