As I suppose is true of many, I knew Mondrian’s oeuvre only through later works like Broadway Boogie Woogie (1942-43). I knew I was supposed to grasp their brilliance, but I couldn’t pretend. They sorta left me cold.
Then, one day, I ran across House on the Gein (1900) and following that, a number of other early works. These were a wholly different matter, and I began to store up a collection of them. Here is The Weavers’ House (1899):
Thanks to my friend Curt, I was introduced to several more, including Irrigation Ditch with Young Pollarded Willow (1900).
I went on to other things, then happened upon a Study of Two Sheep (c. 1910), by a British artist named Maxwell Gordon Lightfoot. I found it stayed in my memory and finally realized that those sheep would be right at home at the House on the Gein.
As this left me with the outline of two sheep, I turned to Joaquin Mir Trinxet’s The Rock in the Pond (1903) to fill in the blank.
As a musical accompaniment on your journey through this post, nothing but this could do:
The sheep are adorable
Now you have strayed from merely delightful, to out-and-out FUN! I laughed a couple of times. The Handel is not only wonderful but thematically perfect. And Maxwell Gordon Lightfoot? Any relation to the Canadian singer? Next they’ll be telling me that pop singer Englebert Humperdinck got his name somewhere else… isn’t it intriguing how past is prologue re: painters? As to any real contribution I can make here: notice the branches of the leafless hedge in “The Weavers’ House” and tell me you can’t see those forms turning up in his later work.
Curt, so pleased this made you laugh. I can assure you I also laughed every time I thought of that Handel tune in this context. And enjoyed your riff on Lightfoot. Only an antic imagination like yours would come up with that. Last not least, YES re the branches, and I have reason, once again, to thank YOU for showing me the trajectory of Mondrian’s trees. So interesting where artists start v where they go.