Art Analysis Essay on Apple Tree, Pointillist Version by Piet Mondrian

Published: 2021-07-26
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Wesleyan University
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Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan, better known as Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) was a Dutch avant-garde painter and founder of Neoplasticism. He was a member of De Stijl (who founded Theo Van Doesburg) and underwent a great evolution from figuration to abstraction, of which he is one of the best representatives. De Stijl was a magazine created in 1917 in Paris, of which Piet Mondrian can be considered the representative (Darwent, 2014). All his works are very similar, it does not cost to recognize them against those of other authors. Mondrian belongs to cubism.

Cubism is a concrete visual system, which is dominated by a planivision (Cubists are a division of reality into planes, but these planes do not see them as we usually see them, but there is going to be an inner vision of them, every cubist does it differently) (Blotkamp, 2004). It is a contemplation of the figurative reality. From here we will not yet reach abstraction. The artist sees reality by planning it in different planes. Gradually these plans are going to make the contact with reality is becoming smaller, in such a way that cubism is going to evolve and is becoming increasingly hermetic (a cubism where only the painting are flat but no longer there is an adequacy with reality, authentically it cannot be said that it is an abstraction but in reality the spectator does not know what the artist wants to shape because he does not identify it with reality).

The work "Apple Tree" was created in 1909. In the Apple Tree, the figures not composed of dotes are the human circle, the sun, and the coffin-like figures. The latter is indicated where parts of the coffin-figures appear without the dots outside the other figures. This may suggest that everything is composed of atomic particles except the human spirit and what becomes symbolic of its own immaterial character. Though it regrets leaving this life, there is hope for it beyond. There are questions which remain. One of them is: why are the sun, the dots, and the background the only non-transparent elements? Maybe they represent the opacity of matter. And what does the circle in the middle of the lower portion of the canvas represent? It calls out both to the humanoid circle and to the circle of the setting sun. Is it the Earth?

In it are present the geometrized planes (Introvigne, 2014). He has a chromatic range in which he uses only the colors he calls pure colors, predominantly gray and cold colors like blue. In this painting, Mondrian intends to contemplate reality on the basis of planes, and thus belongs to analytic cubism, which he discovers from 1911 until 1914.

It is still not a total (or geometric) abstraction in which he is only interested the straight line. Mondrian's experimentation with analytic cubism tends towards a greater abstraction based on the two-dimensionality of paintings and the loss of compositions. All this takes us to forms almost absolutely geometric, as you can see perfectly in this work the geometric forms invade the composition. It is mainly about ovals, spheres that the receiver simplifies.

To draw the line of the figures uses a thick and black outline. These are lines that meet continuity and give a feeling of volume for its intensity. There is an existence of color gradations and contrasts, and on the edges of the painting a clear light. As for its composition is a distribution of complex figures and curved lines. The work is static, subjective and original. For Mondrian, the indefinite spherical and linear continuity reflect a dramatic conflict


Blotkamp, Carel (2004) Mondrian: The Art of Destruction. London. Reaction

Books Ltd. pp: 9

Gardner, H., Kleiner, F. S., & Mamiya, C. J. (2006). Gardner's art through

the ages: the Western perspective. Belmont, CA, Thomson Wadsworth: 780

Darwent, Charles (2014) Complex Simplicity: The Enduring Influence of


Introvigne, Massimo (2014). "From Mondrian to Charmion von Wiegand:

Neoplasticism, Theosophy and Buddhism". In Noble, Judith; Shepherd, Dominic; Ansell, Robert. Black Mirror 0: Territory. Fulgur Esoterica. pp. 4961.

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