Sunday, June 12, 2011

Blavatsky, Landscape Painting and The Forest

Dainis Dauksta in his contribution, “Landscape Painting and The Forest—The Influence of Cultural Factors in the Depiction of Trees and Forests,” in the volume New Perspectives on People and Forests edited by him and Eva Ritter (Springer, May 2011) looks at “two twentieth century painters [who] worked extensively, although not exclusively, on images of trees throughout their lives,” and who shared an interest in the ideas of H.P. Blavatsky. “They left in their work progressive series of compositions whereby their developing philosophies can be tracked through the changes in their imagery.”

Writing of Mondrian, Dauksta says: “He was searching for an entry to the world of spirit rather than of surfaces, and in 1909 he joined the Theosophical Society founded by Russian psychic Helena Blavatsky in 1875. This group had as its mission three objects: first to form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity, second to encourage the comparative study of religion, philosophy and science, and third to investigate the unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in human beings. His work became saturated with spiritual metaphor.” The book—267 pages, hardcover—was published by the German conglomerate Springer in May and sells for $189.00 U.S.

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