Dutch painter and theoretician born in Amersfoort. He studied at the Amsterdam Academy from 1892 to 1895. Most of his early works were landscapes. In 1909 he began a series of paintings of trees in which he developed an increasingly abstract style. He lived in Paris, from periods between 1911 to 1938, although he stayed in Holland during the war of 1914-18, where he came into contact with Theo van Doesburg and helped found De Stijl, a magazine of the arts that influenced European painting, architecture, and design. Mondrian and van Doesburg emphasized “the need for abstraction and simplification”: mathematical structure as opposed to all “Baroque” forms of art. Their works began to display these qualities, transmitted through the straight line, the rectangle, or the cube, and eventually through colors simplified to the primaries red, yellow and blue, and the neutrals black, white and gray. For Mondrian these simplifications had symbolic significance based on eastern philosophy and the mystical teachings of Theosophy, a spiritual movement. Mondrian was particularly obsessed by the mystical implications of vertical-hiorizontal opposition and spent the rest of his life exploring them, producing in the process some of the most extraordinary works of art of the twentieth century. His style, and its underlying artistic principles, he called neoplasticism. Due to his 50th birthday in 1922, The Stedelijk Museum of Amsterdam, Holland, organized an overview exhibition of his work. In 1938 Mondrian moved, because of the threat of Nazi-Germany, to London and in 1940 to New York, where he died in 1944. The later paintings, which date from 1920 until his death, have simple titles, such as this one ‘Composition with yellow, black, blue and grey´, 1923.