The horizontal and vertical black stripes and blocks of yellow, blue, and red against a white background create an active pattern of irregular sequences. Although this painting was named after a bustling square in Paris, it is removed from any notion of realistic reproduction. Rather, the network of lines and color blocks pulsates with the energy of the modern city that Mondrian embraced and celebrated.
Piet Mondrian fl ed from Paris in 1938 and settled in New York City a few years later, bringing with him this painting. Responding to the dynamism of the modern American city, he altered the painting, scraping away paint, widening lines, and adding bars of color. He said the blocks of color he added gave the work “more boogie woogie.”