Mondriaan was born in Amersfoort in 1872 and moved with the family to Winterswijk in 1980 because his father became headmaster at a school. The family settled on the Zonnebrink. Villa Mondriaan has been located in that house and two adjacent buildings since 2013. Museum Villa Mondriaan is a journey to seeing the beginning: seeing Mondriaan before the cubist style in red, yellow and white. Based on his early works, work by his uncle and teachers Frits Mondriaan, painter Jan Braet von Überfelt and his father (particularly party pictures) you get an idea of the first image of the artist Mondriaan. The building has been beautifully renovated and has various exhibition spaces in the many rooms.
The painting 'View of Winterswijk' (1898), which he made from his parental home, is extra special to me. Behind that church there was already Hotel Stad Munster where I grew up. Mondrian painted the branches of the trees in a distinctive pre-abstract manner with lines and divisions, such as his last and most famous work in extremis: Victory Boogiewoogie. If you stand in the conservatory of Piet Mondriaan's parental home, you will see exactly the image of this painting. He already had a special talent in the field of art. He continued to persevere until he reached Mondrian cubism.
On the occasion of Mondrian's 150th birthday, the artist enters into a dialogue with his good friend Simon Maris; son of Willem and nephew of Matthijs and Jacob Maris. Simon often accompanied them on trips to the parental home and they painted 'Achterhoek' landscapes in the style of the Hague School. Just like Mondrian, Simon walked his own path. He began to focus more and more on portraits that now also hang in Villa Mondriaan. This exhibition beautifully portrays a new image of the artistic environments in which both artists grew up and their development.
Around the museum you can also take a walk through the oldest part of Winterswijk where he made many drawings that you can see in the Museum. The museum is not large but well worth the trip.