Hilma af Klint (Swedish, 1862-1944)

Altarpiece Number 1, Group X, 1907

Hilma af Klint’s paintings are diagrams of a spiritual plane that underlies the visual world. She was a member of a small group of women who would meet to access religious spirits with knowledge of the afterlife. 

Gregor, one of the spiritual masters she contacted during these meetings, said to her that the paintings represent “All the knowledge that is not of the senses, not of the intellect, not of the heart but is the property that exclusively belongs to the deepest aspect of your being […] the knowledge of your spirit.”

Altarpiece Number 1 was intended to display in the Goetheanum, Rudolf Steiner’s spiritual center in Switzerland.

Hilma af Klint wanted to keep her paintings secret from the public until 20 years after her death.


Hilma af Klint. Altarpiece, No. 1, Group X, The Dove, No. 3, Group IX, The Swan, No. 17, Group IX (top to bottom). 1913-1915.

Hilma af Klint (1862-1944) was a pioneer of art that turned away from visible reality. By 1906, she had developed an abstract imagery. This was several years before Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) and Kazimir Malevich (1878-1935), who are still regarded as the pioneers of abstract 20th-century art. Hilma af Klint assumed that there was a spiritual dimension to life and aimed at visualizing contexts beyond what the eye can see. When painting, she believed that she was in contact with a higher consciousness that spoke and conveyed messages through her. Like many of her contemporaries, she was influenced by spiritual movements, especially spiritualism, theosophy and later anthroposophy. Through her paintings, she sought to understand and communicate the various dimensions of human existence. -Dr. M. Bunyan

Hilma Af Klint (1862-1944) was a Swedish artist and mystic. She belonged to a group of artists called “The Five” that all shared a complex philosophical and spiritual understanding of the world. After about ten years of spiritual teaching Hilma af Klint was given the task to paint as a medium. Between 1906 and 1915 she created the Central work, also called The paintings for the Temple. It consists of nearly 200 paintings. Only a very limited circle of persons was allowed to see the paintings during Hilma’s life-time. In accordance with her wishes the paintings were not to be displayed in public until at the earliest 20 years after her death. Klint’s work is amongst the first in abstract art ( the painting above doesn’t represnt her abstracts painitngs). Before she died she stipulated that her work not be shown for 20 years after her death. not until the turn of the year 1999/2000 was the Central work showed in its whole. This happened at the millennium exhibition at Liljevalchs art gallery. (via MOON RIVER: Hilma af Klint)

Hilma af Klint (1862–1944) was a Swedish artist and mystic whose paintings were amongst the first abstract art. She belonged to a group called ‘The Five’ and the paintings or diagrams were a visual representation of complex philosophical ideas.,  found at butdoesitfloat.com