Study no III
Production date
Object number

casein, panel

22.5 cm x 30 cm

At the onset of World War I, Georges Vantongerloo flees to The Hague. In a short period of time, he found a connection with the Dutch avant-garde and maintained contact with like-minded artists, beginning with Theo van Doesburg. In November of 1918, as the only Belgian artist, he signed the manifesto of De Stijl, in addition to Piet Mondriaan and Van Doesburg, among others. His first abstract works were sculptures. At the same time he sought out the spatial possibilities for colour in painting.
In contrast to the majority of artists of De Stijl, who exclusively used the primary colours—blue, red and yellow—Vantongerloo introduced secondary colours within his painted work. The painting, Study no. III, is one of the earliest examples of this. It illustrates his colour theory, in which he applies seven main colours: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. In addition to this, he distinguished five transitional colours, being orange-red, orange-yellow, blue-green, indigo-blue and indigo-violet. Those twelve colours were not coincidental as Vantongerloo related his colour palette to the twelve-tone musical scale. The painting has the characteristic of an experiment, in which the colour theory developed by Vantongerloo is put into praxis.

CC BY (Creative Commons 4.0)

Other artworks of this artist

Elément indéterminé (Indeterminate Element)
Study no III
L'Art et son Avenir (cover)
Study 1, Brussels