Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza - Inicio

Versión española

Buy tickets

Masterworks from Budapest. From the Renaissance to the Avant-Garde

From 18 February to 28 May 2017

Lucas Cranach, the Elder
Salome with the Head of Saint John the Baptist, ca. 1526-1530
Oil on panel. 88.4 x 58.3 cm
Budapest, Museum of Fine Arts
  • Home
  • Study for Compositions...

Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection

Bart van der Leck
Study for Compositions No. 7 and No. 8
Gouache on tracing paper
100 x 154 cm
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
Numero de inventario
INV. Nr. 641 (1979.81)

More information about this work

Bart van der Leck met Piet Mondrian in 1916. A year later he became one of the founders of De Stijl and for a time adopted its abstract language based on a Utopian spiritualism, though he never abandoned his basic principle of painting as representation. Not long earlier, in 1914, he had been commissioned by Helene Kröller-Müller to design the colour schemes for the branches of her husband’s firm Wm H. Müller & Co. and the stained-glass windows for the main building, which would have far-reaching repercussions on his later work.

Leck based the present large-scale study for Composition No. 7 and Composition No. 8, executed in 1917, on a landscape sketch made in 1914 during his travels around Spain and Algeria. The artist, who was then very close to Mondrian in style, took as his point of departure a series of rectangles and fragments of coloured lines arranged on a white background. Although the painting is totally abstract in appearance, a more careful examination reveals certain figurative elements such as the triangular forms that seem to hint at mountains. Indeed, the work has sometimes been called Mountains with a Village in Algeria or Mountainous Landscape in Algeria with a Village — titles that leave no room for doubt. It was precisely this tendency towards figuration, which most of the members of De Stijl did not share, that eventually caused him to leave the group and go his own separate way. Indeed, Leck did not sign the group’s first manifesto and wrote one of his own in 1918 entitled The Rider.

Paloma Alarcó

Go to the shop

Recommended artists

Recommended works

© 2009 Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza

Paseo del Prado 8, 28014 Madrid, España

We use our own cookies and those of third-parties to analyze the use of our website and display personalized advertising. If you continue browsing, we will consider that you consented to its use. For more information see our Cookie Policy.