Dutch museum Mondriaanhuis acquires nine Mondrians

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Dutch museum Mondriaanhuis acquires nine Mondrians
Folding bridge in a meadow, Oil on canvas, 1903, 21,5 x 28 cm.

AMERSFOORT.- In the year that Mondrian's 150th birthday is being celebrated, Mondriaanhuis, the birthplace of the painter in Amersfoort, is acquiring nine early Mondrians from the period 1899-1908. This exceptional acquisition has been made possible thanks to generous support from the Rembrandt Association and the Municipality of Amersfoort, among others. The new acquisitions will be on show from 15 February.

The Mondriaanhuis had had the works on long-term loan since 2010 from an heir of art collector Dr J.F.S. Esser. After the death of this owner, the works threatened to be lost to the public. Intensive contact with the heirs has resulted in the paintings and drawings being permanently preserved for the Dutch public art collection.

"The fact that the purchase of no fewer than nine works was successful is truly exceptional. We are extremely happy that, with all the support we have received, they can remain in the Mondriaanhuis once and for all. In this way, everyone can continue to enjoy the unique development of this pioneer of abstract art." Paul Baltus, director Mondriaanhuis.


At the request of the heirs, it has been decided not to disclose the purchase price. The acquisition was made possible with the support of the Rembrandt Association (partly thanks to its Mevrouw M. Boersma Fund, its Van Lith-Dumont Fund and its VriendenLoterij Aankoopfonds), the Municipality of Amersfoort, Social Culture Fund De Amersfoortse and the Friends of the Mondriaanhuis.

The young Mondrian

Piet Mondrian (1872, Amersfoort - 1944, New York) learned drawing and painting at an early age from his father and uncle Frits. After his teacher training in hand drawing, he moved to Amsterdam in 1892 and studied at the Rijksacademie. His early work, around 1900, is still figurative and traditional, although there are already signs of renewal. His choice of subjects is traditional: farms, landscapes, village views, flowers and portraits. It is only after he leaves for Paris in 1911 that we see a change to more abstract work.

Esser collection

The nine acquired works were part of an extensive collection of Dutch art from the beginning of the last century, assembled in the years 1906-1912 by general practitioner, plastic surgeon, chess champion, businessman and art collector Dr J.F.S. Esser (1877-1946). Among his patients were the painters Jan Sluijters and George Hendrik Breitner. Through them, Esser also came into contact with other young, talented artists, including Piet Mondrian. At its peak, his collection comprised 800 works, 80 of which were by Mondriaan. After Esser's death, the remaining collection (part of which the doctor had auctioned off in 1919) was divided among his heirs.

The following works were purchased:

1. Isolated tree near the Gein (Oil paint sketch I)
Oil on canvas, 1906-1907, 53 x 36 cm

2. Farmhouse, Oil on canvas 1905, 27 x 39 cm

3. Folding bridge in a meadow, Oil on canvas, 1903, 21,5 x 28 cm

4. Farmhouse by the river Gein flanked by tall trees
Oil on canvas, 1906-1907, 33,3 x 56,6 cm

5. Dredger on the Amstel near the Omval, Oil on cardboard, 1906-1907, 63,5 x 76 cm

6. Pollard willows on a ditch outside Amsterdam, Watercolour, 1905, 28,5 x 40 cm

7. De Lappenbrink, View of Nieuwstraat, Black and coloured chalk on paper, 1899, 45 x 61 cm

8. De Lappenbrink, View of the Meddosestraat
Black and coloured chalk on paper, 1899, 59 x 43 cm

9. Chrysanthemum flower, Charcoal on paper, 1908, 27,5 x 50,5 cm

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