The Paintings of Swedish Artist Hilma Af Klint

Despite the fact that she was a Swedish artist, Hilma Af Klint’s paintings are considered among the first abstract works in Western art history. This was because her work predates the likes of Malevich and Kandinsky.

Hilma Af Klint

Life and work

Known for her bold, abstract works, Swedish artist Hilma Af Klint made art before her time. Her paintings are now displayed at important museums throughout the world, and her legacy has been preserved by Moderna Museeet.

As a young girl, Hilma Af Klint became interested in spiritualism. She was drawn to Anthroposophy and Madame Blavatsky’s Theosophical writings. In her studies, she was introduced to the theories of Rudolf Steiner.

As she aged, she joined the Anthroposophical Society. She attended lectures by Annie Besant and others. She also painted landscapes and portraits. However, Af Klint felt that the world was not ready for her message. She left her artwork in her will, which stipulated that her paintings should not be publicly displayed until twenty years after her death.

Hilma Af Klint’s most important body of work, the Paintings for the Temple, is a set of 193 large-scale abstract works. They depict the duality of physical being and esoteric being, and are a groundbreaking achievement for their time.

While the majority of Af Klint’s work was displayed in anthroposophical contexts, she did show conventional paintings in numerous exhibitions. She also served as a secretary of the Association of Swedish Women Artists.

In 1908, Hilma af Klint met Rudolf Steiner. She showed him her works, which were based on Anthroposophy and spiritism. They were bold and colorful. She also studied a number of texts, including The Secret Doctrine by H.P. Blavatsky, and Christian Rosencreutz. She also took courses at Kerstin Cardon’s private art school in Stockholm.

During her lifetime, Af Klint made more than a dozen solo shows in Sweden. Her works were included in several other shows, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

During her adulthood, she worked at a Swedish farm, running a Christian Sunday School. She also participated in the first seances in Bertha Valerius’s circle. She kept a sketchbook of weekly seances. During her life, she left behind a library filled with books on Anthroposophy and Madame Blavatsky. In addition, she kept a collection of notebooks and automatic drawings, which were later shown alongside other Swedish artists of the period.


During the early part of the twentieth century, Swedish painter Hilma Af Klint began creating a series of paintings that would eventually become the body of work known as The Paintings for the Temple. In this series, af Klint references a range of spiritual and religious ideas.

Af Klint’s works were influenced by her interest in religion, science, and botany. She also believed that she was painting for a future audience. Her work is often cryptic and symbolic. She incorporated her experiences in seances into her paintings.

During her life, af Klint studied and practiced many of the world’s religions. She was also a student of the Rudolf Steiner movement, which encouraged a connection between the physical and spiritual realm. Af Klint’s works are characterized by a meditative and energetic quality. They are also reminiscent of Egyptian temples. Af Klint aspires to create a universal temple that will reflect the cosmological principle of the universe.

During her life, afklint painted over a thousand works. She completed her series of paintings, called The Paintings for the Temple, in 1915. She was interested in all of the major religions, including Buddhism, Judaism, and Christianity. Her artwork also references the movement of modern cities and the concept of time.

In addition to the temple series, af Klint also painted landscapes, which she sold publicly to help sustain her career. She also had a private collection of over 1,200 paintings. These paintings are among her most incisive works.

While her work has received some acclaim, many of af Klint’s lesser-known works are still unknown. In fact, one of her landscape paintings was included in Wassily Kandinsky’s exhibition. These paintings were largely overlooked by the art industry, and it took decades for the public to discover them.

After afklint’s death, she left all of her artworks to her nephew. These works are now being shown in an exhibition, Hilma Af Klint: Paintings for the Future. It was sponsored by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, the American-Scandinavian Foundation, the LLWW Foundation, and the Miguel Abreu Gallery.

The exhibition also contains several notebooks from afklint’s group, The Five, from 1902 to 1905. These notebooks include drawings by afklint herself, as well as automatic drawings made by the group.


Symbolism and religion are two important elements of Hilma Af Klint’s artwork. She was an abstract pioneer and studied various religions and world religions. She was also well-read in the natural sciences. Her work has been described as mystical and her impact on the art scene is still being understood. Her artwork is exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

During her lifetime, Hilma af Klint joined several spiritual movements. She became interested in world religions and the Rudoposophy movement. She attended seances and received messages from higher forces. She became involved in the occult movements after her sister’s death. She began to study the Rosicrucianism movement, which blends Jewish mysticism, alchemy and religion.

Af Klint’s work combines abstraction and figuration, both symbolic and real. Her Egg series presents a representation of the beginning of life, as the alchemist is preparing for enlightenment. Af Klint’s Dove series is similar, but depicts a small figuration of a heart.

Af Klint’s works combine geometric forms with organic growth and language. She developed an abstract visual language and drew from the unconscious decades before the Surrealists.

The evolution series, or the Seven-Pointed Star series, features Adam and Eve. The two large black serpents in the Garden of Eden refer to the serpent in the Garden of Eden. Af Klint also used the symbol of a spiral in her works. This is an ancient symbol of development and connectivity. It symbolizes the cycle of life, the cycle of Eastern evolution and Western evolution.

In her art, Hilma Af Klint combines science and religion. She worked on 193 Paintings for the Temple, which were intended to be displayed in a spiraling temple. During this period, Af Klint created several series of works.

She also drew a drawing in which the ear of grain is isolated. The Vesica piscis is an ancient symbol of unity.

Her drawings and paintings have been called “cartoons of the soul.” She was also inspired by Rosicrucianism. She was a member of The Five (de Fem), a group of women whose goal was to produce free-flowing art that could connect with the unconscious.

Connection with the spiritual world

Known as one of the most abstract artists of the twentieth century, Hilma Af Klint was also a spiritualist. She was inspired by the occult movements of the late 19th and early 20th century in Europe. She was also well-read in the world religions. She was part of a group of five women called the “Five” who regularly conducted seances and made contact with the spirit world.

Her interest in spiritualism became stronger after the death of her sister Hermina. She tried to make contact with the spirit of Hermina’s sister but was unsuccessful. She started experimenting with automatic writing, which involves writing without consciously guiding the pen movement.

Her connection with the spiritual world was still evident in her paintings. The paintings are esoteric and contain symbology of the hidden spiritual world. She had a fascination with all the major world religions. She was also a botanist. She studied at the Royal Academy of Arts in Stockholm.

Her sensitivity around the ethereal merged with her analytical way of navigating the world. She joined the Swedish Theosophical Society in 1889. She was interested in Rosicrucian symbolism, and she exhibited works that represented these ideas. She moved to Osby, a suburb of Stockholm.

She left behind a library filled with occult books. Af Klint also painted three large altarpieces. These were made after a four-year gap in his creative process.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art included her work in an exhibition titled The Spiritual in Art: Abstract Painting 1890-1985. The show examined mystical movements in western society.

Af Klint also created a series of paintings entitled The Evolution, which shows a figure with outstretched arms. It echoes the naturalist scientist Charles Darwin. In addition, the painting shows beautiful proportionality.

Af Klint’s esoteric paintings have been shown in many important museums throughout the world. Most of these exhibitions are organized by the Swedish Association for Art. The esoteric paintings are not available on the international art market. But the artistic importance of af Klint’s work has been growing over time.

She leaves behind a large number of paintings, notebooks, and other memorabilia. Her nephew inherits 26,000 pages of her works.