Mondrian Enters the Academy for Fine Art in Amsterdam

After a strictly Protestant upbringing, in 1892, Mondrian entered the Academy for Fine Art in Amsterdam, already qualified as a teacher.

He began his career as a teacher in primary education, but while teaching he also practiced painting. Most of his work from this period is naturalistic or impressionistic, consisting largely of landscapes. These pastoral images of his native country depict windmills, fields, and rivers, initially in the Dutch Impressionist manner of the Hague School and then in a variety of styles and techniques documenting his search for a personal voice. These paintings are most definitely representational, and illustrate the influence that various artistic movements had on Mondrian, including pointillism and the vivid colors of fauvism.

As a teenager Mondrian was thoroughly educated in drawing and visited several schools. His education was complemented by a retired art-teacher Baet van Ueberfeldt. Mondrian Sr. intended his son to become a drawing teacher so that Piet would be able to make a living. Mondrian won his licences and was allowed to teach at primary and secondary schools. With his licences under his belt, having fulfilled his father's demands, Piet Mondrian decided to become an artist, not a teacher, in 1892. His father could not afford an education at the National Academy of Art in Amsterdam, but Uncle Frits managed to obtain an allowance for Piet Mondrian; he was 20 when he moved to Amsterdam.

There he studied either full time or attended evening classes and joined several artist's societies where he exhibited his work, for the first time in 1893 (he was 21). He got some commissions, like a ceiling painting and he applied for several prizes, with varying degree of success.