Academic Master


the universal beauty and simplicity of Piet Mondrian’s works

Piet Mondrian on Simplicity

Art is beautiful and fundamental in our everyday lives. Art is how the artist expresses his/her feelings and conveys his/her hidden messages or thoughts to the public. The art is basically how beautifully you create things. Art may be of any kind, either painting or designing, representing the artist’s skills and talent. In this study, we will discuss a great artist, Piet Mondrian, who is a great painter and belongs to Amersfoort, Netherlands. He used his art to elaborate the beauty of the world’s architecture in the simplest way. The simplicity is, in actuality, the beauty of his art. He uses primary colors and lines to capture the essence of the beautiful architecture of the World. He, in his painting, shows that art is not about creating things complicatedly rather it is the skill to express the art in the simplest way. He uses the natural beauty of art. In this study, I will focus on the simplicity of Mondrian’s work and the way in which he reflects his idea of a utopian perception of harmonious and universal beauty.

In this study, the first artwork of Mondrian, which I will discuss, is “Wood near Oil” (Postelnicu pp. 1-2). In this artwork, Mondrian painted a large canvas in the simplest way. This painting shows the phase of the artist in which he opened up his horizon and looked beyond the narrow boundaries of the Dutch School of Netherlands. The painting is the simplest transitional work, showing the artist’s art and skills to show nature’s normal architecture most beautifully.

The artist has done a great job by painting canvases such as Trees on the Gein, where the blue parallel shafts indicate the tree trunks, and he has used the yellow, blue, and red lines in a beautiful manner. He has always respected nature, and that respect can clearly be seen in his picture. Mondrian uses parallel shafts rising to the top of the picture to indicate nature’s power and beauty. A yellow globe, between the swaying trees, stands for the sun and the spreading yellow shade between the trees indicates the stylization of sunlit trees.

Mondrian is unique in his work by indicating the deep themes of nature in the simplest way. He had the skill to balance the stylization with the beauty of nature. He always selected the perfect color scheme to express the vision of the beauty and uniqueness of nature. The painting expresses the scene of nature in a very beautiful and sober way. However, the artist never compromised on the quality of the work. He managed the simplicity with rigorous stylization and great quality.  On the other hand, the Mondrian’s brushwork, color, and rhythm are appreciable. His artwork indicates foreign influences and shows his unique vision of nature and the architecture of the World (Riley pp. 751–753).

However, Mondrian’s approach is unique. He has shown a new view of nature and has provided a new vision of nature and the world. He has shown the beautiful forces existing in nature, which is the center of attraction in the world. By using a lining architecture and the art of his brushwork, he has highlighted the simplest beauty of nature. This artwork proves Mondrian’s fresh approach to nature, human thought, and human feelings (Blotkamp and Mondrian).

Mondrian has developed an original style of his artwork that gives a clear vision and expression of his belief in the power of color and light to the audience. In actuality, the unique approach of the artist towards these Trees on the Gein and the selection of colors, showing the rising of the moon, and his use of lining as an architecture of nature not only attract the people but also give new vision to the people about the beauty and the architecture of the world (P. Mondrian pp. 1).

The second artwork of the Mondrian is, “Broadway Boogie-Woogie.” In this work, Mondrian has represented his escape from Europe to New York City. This artwork is a simple piece of peace showing the World War II outbreak. He shows the city’s architecture in the most simple, adorable, and attractive way. Mondrian was fascinated with American Jazz, and his art of boogie-woogie is synchronized with the approach to the melody of American Jazz. He has represented the dynamic rhythm in his artwork by destroying natural appearance (Mondrian and Bois pp. 174-179).

In this artwork, Mondrian replaced the black grid of his canvases with yellow lines and square red and blue points. He uses a chromatic pulse theme, interrupted by light gray, and creates the canvas paths. His simple use of squares and color combinations has shown the architecture of the city and the movement of the traffic which shows the rhythms of jazz and the blinking electric lights enhancing the beauty of his use selection of colors. This great artist’s work was not bound to one specific field rather he was the one who could see the beauty in nature, style in architecture, and modernism in construction. He never used any complex theme for the representation of anything, and this is shown in his artwork of Broadway Boogie-Woogie (P. Mondrian pp. 2).

Mondrian artwork was not only attractive but was full of contrasts and expressions. In this artwork, he uses square blocks of different colors, which can express thousands of feelings to the one who wants to understand the theme of the painting. His artwork, Broadway Boogie-Woogie, at one place, indicates the glory of the life of New York City. On the other hand, it also represents the synchronization of the American Jazz Music. On one hand, this artwork indicates the blinking lights, traffic, and movement of lives in the city, and on the other hand, it shows the rhythm of the Jazz music and its sparkling effects on lives. His work is amazing and highly appreciable.

Mondrian’s early paintings mostly focused on large planes and long continuous lines. However, this new pattern of his painting is the most striking aspect, where he uses the theme of musical notes, which not only shows the fast life of New York but also shows the rhythmic architecture of the city. In the simplest way, the artist has explained the city’s life. With the combination of lines, squares, and colors, he shows the complete living style of that specific area of the World. This is the artist’s great skill in explaining everything about the city using his brushes and colors in the simplest and unique way. After looking at such great work with deep concepts which can neglect the simplicity and beauty of Mondrian’s work (Melikian pp.1-4)?

Finally and conclusively, Mondrian uses the city’s architecture, the beauty of nature, the people’s living, the blinking theme of traffic, and the syncopation of jazz rhythm most simply and uniquely. His work is real and of great appreciation and admiration. This painting shows that Mondrian had always been inclined and attracted by music, so he loved to use the music themes in his paintings most uniquely and attractively (P. Mondrian pp.1-3).

Mondrian’s third artwork is “Lighthouse at Westkapelle.” In this work, Mondrian paints the lighthouse using a loose pointillist technique. This is the great approach of the painter which belongs to the preceding work of 1908. In the twentieth century, artists used to work on such themes, such as Windmill in Sunlight. This art seemed to be digital, but it’s the hand art of the great painter, Mondrian.

The painter has done a great job in this artwork by sketching the lighthouse with a great color theme and geometrical shapes. In this little sketch, Mondrian uses different aspects of pictorial possibilities. In all artworks of the Mondrian, the color theme played a vital role in catching the attraction of the public and giving a meaningful theme to the art. In this work, the Mondrian uses a unique color combination that is no longer concerned with the contrast of the surrounding things. However, his simplest use of color and brushing skills has shown convincing unity with their surroundings. And this is the beauty of Mondrian artwork (Morrisson pp. 86–97).

Mondrian has so simply and beautifully sketched the tower, merging the color of the sky with upward movement, producing a consonant and showing great power and purity to the audience. This work was presented by Mondrian in 1909 during the exhibition in Amsterdam Museum. He was the one who started the renewal of painting. He knew how to use the brush to catch the audience’s attraction. He never used any complicated theme rather he wanted to convey the beauty of nature and the beauty of the architecture of the World in the simplest way (P. Mondrian pp.149-151).

Mondrian’s approach towards things was different. A normal eye can never see the lighthouse as a symbol of power, but Mondrian observed its architecture and sketched its vision in a unique way. His stippling technique, his use of color, the way he evokes the unity of nature, and the use of vivid color is evidence of his great approach toward the architecture of nature and the world. He gave a new vision of nature using his brush and the colors (Troy pp. 75–80.).

In this artwork, the use of yellow and blue color, geometrical shaping, and the theme of power by showing the upward movement of the lighthouse towards the sky shows his simple way of artwork to show the deep concepts of the architecture. And this is the beauty of Mondrian’s work (P. Mondrian pp. 1-3).

Lastly, I will discuss Mondrian’s artwork, “Dying Chrysanthemum.” Mondrian had sketched many flower paintings, using oil paints to express his vision of nature (Roob pp. 14–14). He used to express the beauty in a unique way. In this artwork, he has used the chalk colors and the linings, the softness of petals, and the dying theme of flowers in a very simple and beautiful way. This artwork shows that the artist observed nature deeply and wanted to find beauty in everything even in the dying Chrysanthemum (Riley pp. 49-53).

This artwork also shows the intense respect for the artist, Mondrian, towards nature. This work is the clear evidence of the artist’s clear observation. The petals and the flowers are clearly observed, and the artist has sketched this beauty of nature in a very respectful and attentive manner. Also, Mondrian had an idea of which color would express which feeling so he used deep and crisp colors to outline flowers and leaves. This great work shows the flower’s transition from one tonic value to another. This artwork’s color combination and theme show the artist’s clear observation of his great approach to balancing horizontal forces (Muehlig pp. 71-79).

Most poets also symbolize Mondrian’s work, especially his flower paintings, as the nude creature. They consider that Mondrian has used his artistic skill to express one simple thing with different meanings. Everyone can use his different approach towards his artwork, and every concept and theme will fit his work because his work is not an ordinary work but a simple and unique approach towards the beauty and architecture of nature (BRENSON pp.3-11).


Mondrian is a great artist who sketched his work, showing the different approaches to the beauty of nature and the world’s architecture. Mondrian is the best artist for using his brush correctly, and his simplest geometrical sketching with deep artwork concepts is also appreciated. He was different in his approach. He had the skill to use his brush in a geometrical way to either represent the innocence and beauty of nature or the glory and stylization of architecture. He wanted to express his vision towards nature, architecture, glory, music, rhythm, synchronization, beauty, and combinations.

Starting from “Wood near Oil” and then to “Broadway Boogie-Woogie,” “Lighthouse at Westkapelle,” and then “Dying Chrysanthemum” shows the artist’s approach towards different aspects of life. In one artwork he is beautifying nature, in the second artwork he is synchronizing the music with New York’s life, in the third artwork he indicates the power of the lighthouse by using a color combination, and finally, in the last artwork, he is showing the transition of innocence and the glory of flowers. This study is clear evidence of his simple approach toward complex nature. He was the one who used his unique vision to produce great artwork for the people.

Work Cited

Blotkamp and Piet Mondrian. Mondrian: The Art of Destruction. London: Reaktion, 1994.

BRENSON, MICHAEL. “Review/Art; The Flowers That Show Mondrian Had a Softer, More Intimate Side.” New York Times (1991).

Melikian. “Piet Mondrian’s Radical Leap.” The New York Times (1995): 1-4.

Mondrian, Piet and Alain Bois. Piet Mondrian 1872-1944. . Boston: Bulfinch Prints, 1995.

Mondrian, Piet. “Broadway Boogie Woogie.” Museum of Modern Art [US] (2011).

—. “Broadway Boogie-Woogie, 1942 by Piet Mondrian.” Masterpieces of Piet Mondrian (2011): 2.

—. “Lighthouse in Westkapelle, 1910 by Piet Mondrian.” Masterpieces of Piet Mondrian (2011).

—. “Woods near Oele, 1908 by Piet Mondrian.” Masterpieces of Piet Mondrian (2011): 1.

Mondrian, Piet. Mondrian: From Figuration to Abstraction. . London: Thames and Hudson, 1988.

Morrisson, Mark S. “Occult Chemistry and the Theosophical Aesthetics of the Subatomic World.” RACAR: Revue d’Art Canadienne / Canadian Art Review (2009): pp. 86–97.

Muehlig, Linda D. Master Drawings from the Smith College Museum of Art. Hudson Hills, 2000.

Postelnicu, Alex. “Bos Bij Oele (Woods near Oele)1908 by Piet Mondrian.” Curiator Beta (2013): 1-2.

Riley, Bridget. Mondrian: Nature to Abstraction. London: Tate Gallery Print, 1997.

—. “Mondrian: The ‘Universal’ and the ‘Particular’. .” The Burlington Magazine (1996): pp. 751–753.

Roob, Rona. “Mondrian at MoMA. From the Archives: Early Collectors of Mondrian in America.” Museum of Modern Art (1995): pp. 14–14. .

Troy, Nancy. “To Be Continued: A Note on Some Recent Mondrians.” Journals, primary sources, and now BOOKS (1983): pp. 75–80.



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