This piece is from a series of watercolour paintings that Hilma af Klint made from 1922 onwards, called On the Viewing of Flowers and Trees
. Using watercolour paints, af Klint used techniques that encouraged the colours to flow into one another, creating abstract images inspired by anthroposophical theories and Goethe’s Colour Theory
. Red bleeds into a pale blue for this work, with branch-like tendrils snaking towards the bottom of the piece.
Hilma af Klint
On the Viewing of Flowers and Trees
FSC Certified paper and wood
Date of work
Original: Watercolour on paper 18 x 25cm Hilma af Klint Foundation
Hilma af Klint (1862 – 1944) was a Swedish artist, considered to be the first abstract artist in Western art history. Talented in mathematics and botany, she studied painting at Tekniska skolan in Stockholm, and then the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. She initially painted landscapes, portraits and botanical illustrations, but from 1906 she began creating large scale abstract artworks as part of her explorations of theosophy and spiritualism. Believing herself to be guided by a higher power when creating these radically abstract works, she did not exhibit them in her lifetime, and left instructions for them not to be shown until two decades after her death. She is now recognized as a pioneer in abstraction, predating the works of Malevich, Kandinsky and Mondrian.