Lot 217
  • 217

Piet Mondrian

bidding is closed


  • Piet Mondrian
  • Sketch for Blue Apple Tree Series
  • Oil on card laid down on canvas


Mrs. G.A. Ootmar, the Netherlands (by circa 1910)
Mrs. Maria Johanna Ootmar, Kelowna, British Columbia (by 1945)
Sidney Janis Gallery, New York (by 1965)
Dunkelman Gallery, Toronto (by 1974 and sold: Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, May 2, 1974, lot 250)
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner


New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Piet Mondrian, 1945, no. 8
Washington, D.C., The Washington Gallery of Modern Art, Piet Mondrian,1965, no. 25
New York, Noah Goldowsky, The Early Works of Piet Mondrian, 1971, no. 20


Michel Seuphor, Piet Mondrian, Life and Work, 1956, no. 285, illustrated p. 372, fig. 173
Maria Grazia Ottolenghi, L’Opera completa di Mondrian, Milano, 1974, no. 223
Robert Welsh and Joop M. Joosten, Piet Mondrian, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Work of 1911-1944, vol. 1, Anvers, 1998, no. A668, illustrated p. 435

Catalogue Note

According to Robert Welsh, "This little oil sketch clearly depicts the same apple tree featuerd in the Blue Tree series proper, which is the best-known subject theme in what the artist himself called the Blue Tree period.  It would seem to innaugurate the series insofar as it embodies an impression of the tree silhouete rather than a detailed accounting of the structure of the tree and its surroundings.  In terms of brush techinique it only hints at Poinitlism in the background areas, and regarding coloration it retains some of the greens and purples from the preceeding years.  While one cannot claim that it functioned as the source for all or even most other members of the series, it is the earliest-known example to employ a pattern for the tree branches which is also found in two of the most mature versions of the subject theme" (Welsh and Joosten, op cit, p. 435).

Fig.1  Piet Mondrian, Avond (Red Tree), 1908-10, oil on canvas, Gemeentemuseum, The Hague