Piet Mondriaan was born in 1872 in Amersfoort, into a family active in artistic and political circles. Mondriaan's father and brothers were all competent painters, and he studied under his uncle Frits Mondriaan, who was a career painter in The Hague.

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Mondriaan: first artist in residence in the rural community of Uden
 Piet Mondriaan
Piet Mondriaan was born in 1872 in Amersfoort...

Piet Mondriaan was born in 1872 in Amersfoort, into a family active in artistic and political circles. Mondriaan's father and brothers were all competent painters, and he studied under his uncle Frits Mondriaan, who was a career painter in The Hague. Later he studied at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam and became a member of the St. Luke's and Arti and Amicitiae groups in Amsterdam in 1897. During this period, Mondriaan's painting incorporated elements of Symbolism, Impressionism and The Hague School of painting, and the native Dutch landscape was his most common subject.

Mondriaan was the first artist in recidence who drawn to the community of Uden in southern Holland for its stark, rural simplicity. He made a brief visit to the Brabant region in late 1903 and returned in January 1904, when he found modest lodging in Uden, and did little else but paint until his departure in February 1905. He focused on a few select subjects: simple farmyard scenes, cow studies, and studies of the long, low, steep-roofed farmhouses characteristic of the region. These remarkable oil sketches and watercolors bring out the formal structure of their subjects, rather than their anecdotal or picturesque possibilities. Mondriaan's paintings became more abstract during his stay in Uden. An exhibition of Brabant's most famous painter Vincent van Gogh also had a profound impact.