Obelisk Art History

Church Tower in Zeeland

Piet Mondrian, 1911
Church Tower in Zeeland, Piet Mondrian
Church Tower in Zeeland, zoomed in
114 cmChurch Tower in Zeeland scale comparison75 cm
See Church Tower in Zeeland in the Kaleidoscope

Church Tower in Zeeland is a Fauvist Oil on Canvas Painting created by Piet Mondrian in 1911. It lives at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag in The Hague. The image is in the Public Domain, and tagged Church. SourceDownload

Piet Mondrian is famous for his rigorously geometric abstract paintings, but earlier in his career, like many of his fellow painters in the early 20th century, Mondrian painted landscapes. In 1911, Cubism was exploding in Paris, and Mondrian was vacationing in the Netherlands seaside town of Domburg, where his paintings of sand dunes and churches blended cubist shapes with fauvist color.

In this bright portrait of one of the Zeeland province’s many church towers, the evening sun sets fire to the brick façade and an evening shadow creeps up from below. After completing the image, Mondrian painted the edges of frame, a technique possibly borrowed from Georges Seurat’s pointillist canvases, then sold the work to Anna Bruin, a local pharmacist and avid collector of Mondrian’s work.

Reed Enger, "Church Tower in Zeeland," in Obelisk Art History, Published August 09, 2018; last modified November 08, 2022, http://arthistoryproject.com/artists/piet-mondrian/church-tower-in-zeeland/.

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Piet Mondrian extensively about his philosophy and practice of art. You can read selections of his writings here on Obelisk, but for the full, 400-page experience, get this quintessential volume.

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