Pieter Cornelis Mondrian was born in 1872 in Amersfoort a small town in the Netherlands near Amsterdam. Mondrian's father worked at an elementary school as a headmaster and his uncle was a successful painter. The environment that he was surrounded by helped him grow an interest towards painting, although his father wanted him to get a degree in teaching. Since his passion was to be a painter, he ended up becoming an art teacher. While he was teaching his desire to become a painter did not lessen because of this his uncle helped Mondrian pay to study at the National Academy of Art in Amsterdam in 1892. His first paintings are shown to be of landscapes in a calming nature, painted in dark greens, grays, and pinks. In 1911 Mondrian saw his first exhibit that affected his styles immensely and also inspired him. The exhibit had paintings done by Pablo Picasso and other Cubist, this caused Mondrian to be inspired by the different style of paintings called cubism. Though that type of artwork inspired and influenced him, he developed his own sense of style. Mondrian's style contained more of a geometric style, rather than the squarer style seen in cubism, Mondrian named this style neoplasticism. When using this style of painting he only used white, gray, black, and the three primary colors- red, yellow, and blue.
Mondrian moved to France to study art in 1917, when he was living in Paris, he started to become dissatisfied with painting an accurate representation of the world. One night while he was on a walk with his friend during the night, he had said to his friend "that the moonlight had distorted the landscape- what seemed 'real' was not how things actually looked Nature is a wretched affair. I can hardly stand it." Once Mondrian had this revelation, he went out to look for the real artistic truth. Over time his paintings started to develop a more abstract look to them.