Hilma af Klint was born in 1862 and was a Swedish artist and mystic whose paintings were considered among the first abstract works known in Western art history. In her Stockholm studio, Klint created some of the world’s most breath taking, abstract paintings long before Kandinsky even thought of it.
Klint belonged to a group called ‘The Five’, which was a group of women that explored and pushed the boundaries of gender, spirituality and art. She felt that her art was being directed by a force that would literally guide her hand and wrote in her notebook:
‘The pictures were painted directly through me, without any preliminary drawings, and with great force. I had no idea what the paintings were supposed to depict; nevertheless, I worked swiftly and surely, without changing a single brush stroke.’
Some of Klint’s most stunning paining’s were known as the ‘Ten Largest’; which were attributed to the exploration of the human life cycle, from childhood and youth to adulthood and old age. The artist created the ten works between November and December of 1907 on large sheets of paper later glued onto canvas.
The ‘Hilma’ flower is a jewellery interpretation of ‘No. 2’ of the Ten Largest. This painting depicts ‘Childhood’ and captures the euphoria of this time.
Klint felt that her abstract work and the meaning within it was so ground breaking that the world was not ready to see it; because of this she wished for her work to remain unseen for 20 years after her death. Her work actually ended up being mainly unseen until 1986, and only over the subsequent three decades have her paintings and works on paper begun to receive serious attention.