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An early example of Mondrian's pure geometric abstraction, this painting dates from his involvement with the De Stijl group. The strict use of horizontal and vertical lines and primary colours with black and grey is characteristic of De Stijl. Mondrian's aim to evoke a spiritual equilibrium was influenced by the mysticism of Theosophy, which sought universal order. He had been working with chequerboard grids before he began this painting, which introduced greater variety. He told van Doesburg: 'now I do not always keep to the proportional division'.

August 2004