Piet Mondrian and the iconic Composition with Red, Blue, and Yellow

Piet Mondrian, originally named Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan, was a Dutch painter and art theoretician who is regarded as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. Born on March 7, 1872, at Amersfoort, Netherlands, and passed away on February 1, 1944, in Manhattan, New York, United States. 

Mondrian's most famous works are the composition with three-color series, generally red, blue and yellow, known as the pioneer of 20th century abstract art. 



Mondrian refers to his invented style as Neo-Plasticism or “The New Plastic Painting,” the title of his famous 1917 essay promoting abstraction for the expression of modern life. 

Mondrian wished for his paintings to be universally readable and reflect visual harmony. An excerpt below indicates how Mondrian uses a combination of basic shapes and prime colors to express the static balance for visual harmony. 

Red Yellow and Blue Piet Mondrian 

(Figure 1: Composition in Red Yellow and Blue by Piet Mondrian


"The great struggle for artists is the annihilation of static equilibrium in their paintings through continuous oppositions (contrasts) among the means of expression. It is always natural for human beings to seek static balance. This balance, of course, is necessary to existence in time. But vitality in the continual succession of time always destroys this balance. Abstract art is a concrete expression of such vitality." 

Piet Mondrian, The Museum of Modern Art Bulletin, 1946. Excerpted in John Elderfield, (ed.), Modern Painting and Sculpture: 1880-The Present. The Museum of Modern Art, 2004, 207-208. 


Modern-day home décor applications 

Different from other famous paintings by Van Gogh or Monet, the composition series by Mondrian are incredibly suitable for all modern-day applications. There are many home décor products adapted after this design. It could be as large as Lego walls, wall papers, wall art, posters, shelfing units; or as small as coffee mugs, coasters, and etc. 

(Figure 2: Mondrian Inspired by Galerie de Claire


Are you looking to add any Piet Mondrian styles to your life?