Book Review: Mondrian & Steiner

Last year, a wonderfully insightful book on the relationship between Piet Mondrian and Rudolf Steiner was published, written by art historian Jacqueline van Paaschen. She is an expert on the Zeeland circle of artists, which Mondrian was part of during since the summer of 1908 till ca. 1915.

Amongst the possessions he left behind after passing away, Mondrian had a publication with Dutch translations of lectures given by Rudolf Steiner. The Austrian Theosophist and later founder of Anthroposophy gave a series of lectures in The Netherlands in 1908. Mondrian kept a copy of the publication with him all his life and made small pencil marks throughout. 

Van Paaschen took these marks of Mondrian’s interest as the departure point of a fascinating journey along the two men’s respective esoteric interests. While Mondrian was never acknowledged as an official representative of the Theosophical movement, and Steiner never bothered to return an answer to Mondrian’s correspondence, the Dutch artist strongly rooted his artistic practices in esoteric thinking.

Spread in the book: Left, Piet Mondrian; Right, Rudolf Steiner.

At the moment the book is only published in Dutch, but I believe it is deserving of a much broader audience. Therefore, it was a great pleasure for me to write a review of this book for the academic journal Material Religion, The Journal of Objects, Art and Belief

The review was published in the last issue of 2018 and will be available on the journal’s website. Alternatively, hit the download button below! 

Van Paaschen’s book Mondriaan en Steiner, Wegen naar Nieuwe Beelding is available via the website of publisher D’ Jonge Hond.

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