Works On Paper Collection


Piet Mondrian

Dying Sunflower, Watercolor

 

Amersfoort, the Netherlands, 1872—New York City, USA, 1944
Dying Sunflower, Watercolor, 1908
Watercolor on paper
37 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches

It may surprise you to learn that this expressive watercolor of a drooped sunflower was painted by Piet Mondrian, the Dutch painter best known for his geometric abstractions. However, throughout his career, Mondrian made these pictures of flowers, often depicting a single bloom captured in a wilted state, as if final portraits of magnificent creatures. Here, flowers are not simply decorative but representative of the stages of life. This subject matter most likely reflects Mondrian’s affiliation with Theosophy, a religion founded in the late 19th century that viewed death as productive to the emergence of new life.