Early Light

Mondrian's early career

The name Mondrian conjures up canvases traversed by spare geometric lines and grids with blocks of primary color. But early in his career the Dutch-born Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan (1872-1944) painted moody landscapes with reflective water and silhouetted trees, pastel seascapes, and rousing Expressionistic works dappled with bright pigments, as in the rutilant Mill in Sunlight, 1908. More than a hundred of these lesser-known pictures, culminating in Cubist works that contain the germ of his famed Neoplasticism, are on view from March 27 at Paris' Musée d'Orsay in Mondrian: A Path Towards Abstraction, 1892-1914.