Piet Mondrian Self Portrait

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Mondrian's art was intimately related to his spiritual and philosophical studies. In 1908, he became interested in the theosophical movement launched by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky in the late 19th century, and in 1909 he joined the Dutch branch of the Theosophical Society. The work of Blavatsky and a parallel spiritual movement, Rudolf Steiner's Anthroposophy, significantly affected the further development of his aesthetic. Blavatsky believed that it was possible to attain a more profound knowledge of nature than that provided by empirical means, and much of Mondrian's work for the rest of his life was inspired by his search for that spiritual knowledge. In 1918, he wrote "I got everything from the Secret Doctrine", referring to a book written by Blavatsky. In 1921, in a letter to Steiner, Mondrian argued that his neoplasticism was "the art of the foreseeable future for all true Anthroposophists and Theosophists". He remained a committed Theosophist in subsequent years, although he also believed that his own artistic current, neoplasticism, would eventually become part of a larger, ecumenical spirituality.