Anyone who thinks of Piet Mondriaan immediately sees the characteristic interplay of lines with primary colors with which the artist became known and ultimately made himself immortal. In 2022 it will be 150 years since Piet Mondrian was born. This is why the Royal Dutch Mint mints a commemorative coin in honor of this revolutionary artist. The Piet Mondrian Fiver is minted by order of the Ministry of Finance.
Piet Mondriaan was born on 7 March 1872 in Amersfoort and grew up in a strict Calvinist family. His father is a teacher and would rather not see Piet Mondrian become an artist. Mondriaan is training to be an art teacher but never gives up on his dream. At the age of 18 he organizes an exhibition of his own work.
At the beginning of his career Mondriaan mainly painted portraits and landscapes. Around the age of 30 he becomes interested in theosophy: this is a discipline that searches for a common core of science, philosophy and religion. In this way Mondriaan develops an interest in geometric shapes. He sees them as the basis of everything, even though these forms do not occur as such in nature. Mondrian's art is gradually moving towards the abstract. The quest for harmony and 'absolute' beauty through compositions of primary colours, horizontal and vertical lines and uniform areas of color marks Piet Mondrian's breakthrough and ultimately turns him into the pioneer of abstract art.
Inspiration from the designer
The Piet Mondrian Fiver was designed by Marjolein Rothman. The designer has searched for the elementary translation of Mondrian's vision. Horizontal and vertical lines are the basic principles in his work and this has been used as the starting point for the coin design. On the obverse is the portrait of King Willem-Alexander. On the left is the text 'Koning der Nederlanden' from top to bottom. At the bottom, from left to right, is the text 'Willem-Alexander'. The two texts intersect and create the same interplay of lines as we know from Mondriaan. At the far left are the mint mark and mint master mark.
The reverse also contains a horizontal and vertical movement. The two lines on the background cross each other at the bottom of the image. The text follows these lines. In one direction of the line is 1872, the year of Mondrian's birth. In the other direction is 2022, the year of 150 years of Piet Mondrian. The horizontal line is wider, in order to give more weight to the composition and the name Piet Mondrian above it.