Herenigd door Mondriaan (Reunited through Mondrian)
The Fries Museum has acquired an early painting by Piet Mondrian. Mondrian painted the portrait in 1901, years before he developed his signature abstract style in red, yellow and blue.
Take a look
The Fries Museum has acquired an early painting by Piet Mondrian. It is a portrait of the Frisian couple Egbert Roels Kuipers and Jantje Tjeerds Wiegersma. Mondrian painted the portrait in 1901, years before he developed his signature abstract style in red, yellow and blue. The portrait will be on display in the exhibition Reunited by Mondrian at the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden from Oct. 22, 2022 through June 4, 2023.
In the late 19th century, Piet Mondrian studied at the Rijksacademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam, supported by the secretary of Queen Regent Emma. Here he learned to create portraits and genre paintings. When the scholarship ended, Mondrian had to make a living from drawings he did for scholarly publications, portraits and landscapes. For a long time, little was known about the germ of Mondrian's artistry, in part because the painter did not accurately describe and document his development until 1908. The acquired portrait dates from the years just after Mondrian's studies. Moreover, the work is the only Mondrian with a recognizable Frisian touch.
The full-length double portrait shows the Frisian couple Egbert Roels Kuipers (1828-1892) and Jantje Tjeerds Wiegersma (1828-1914). In 1882, due to the agricultural crisis in Friesland, the couple moved with their children to Amsterdam. The portrait was probably commissioned by one of the couple's sons, on the occasion of his own wedding anniversary. Father Egbert Kuipers had long since passed away by then. In the painting he is wearing a bowler hat and an outer coat: a tenue for outdoors, while his wife is in her black silk jacket, meant for indoors. She no longer wears a mourning belt, but she does wear black and a patterned lace cap as a sign of mourning. The Frisian cap shows that Jantje Tjeerds Wiegersma was still clinging to her Frisian identity even though she had been living in Amsterdam for nearly 20 years. Mondrian worked for this half post mortem portrait based on a photograph by Egbert Kuipers. Whether Mondrian painted Jantje Wiegersma in the flesh or had a recent photograph to hand is not clear.
In addition to the portrait, items on display in Herenigd Door Mondrian include a Frisian costume with an ear iron, similar to that of Jantje Tjeerds Wiegersma, and photographs and drawings of people in Frisian costume around 1910. Also on display is a drawing by artist Ids Wiersma, in which he depicted his mem (mother) wearing a flodder hat and ear iron.
The Fries Museum is funded in part by the Province of Fryslân, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Municipality of Leeuwarden, the Friends Lottery, the Ir. Abe Bonnema Foundation and the Friends of the Fries Museum.
- until 4 June
Here you will find Herenigd door Mondriaan (Reunited through Mondrian)
8911 BS Leeuwarden