The Ten Largest

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Hilma af Klint-The Ten Largest Childhood No 1 1907

The Swedish abstract painter Hilma af Klint frequently divided her Paintings for the Temple into thematic groups, including The Swan, The Dove, Altarpieces and Primordial Chaos. One of the most stunning groups is The Ten Largest, so called because of their truly monumental size, each canvas is over 10 foot tall. The Ten Largest is an abstract, spiritual rendition of a persons life from Childhood to Old Age.

The Ten Largest with their bold colouring and joyful unfettered line displays an exuberance reminiscent of Matisse, yet Hilma’s mediumistic work painted in secret preceded the acknowledged modern master by a year. Thankfully her canvases survived being stored in frozen Swedish attics for decades and we can now marvel at the splendour of Hilma’s esoteric creations.

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Childhood No 2
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Youth No 3
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Youth No 4

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Adulthood No 5
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Adulthood No 6
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Adulthood No 7
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Adulthood No 8
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Old Age-No 9
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Old Age-No 10

39 thoughts on “The Ten Largest

  1. This sequence evokes, for me, a playful dance of cell divisions – like maps of choreographies. Being so large they must leave a deep meditative impression, speaking to what the body intuits, an inner process.
    I’m now curious in what Hilma af Klint had to say about the symbolic language of the paintings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea and somehow, wildly and rather madly it does seem to convey a life story. 8 of them were in London last year but as I wasn’t even aware of her existence then I didn’t see it. I bet they are incredible in person. It took me quite while awhile to track them all down on the internet, I think this might be the only place to find them all together.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah! You’ve curated an internet exhibition. I love it. And taken in the ‘correct’ order, I could imagine a life running its course. So cool, Cake. Wonderful discovery!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Just beautiful! I love adulthood no.7 fabulous visica piscis/ torus.
    Just another odd synchro here.. a few days ago I was shown a vision of a typical medieval tarot image of a knight in armour on a white palfrey! with a stylised large 5 petalled white rose on its saddle cloth.
    [I know my brain is odd!] I thought he had a message. I drew the rose on some paper and it’s very close to nos. 2 and 5 except all white,
    So of course I then had to waste a fair bit of time on my phone obsessing with trying to track down that familiar symbol.
    That white rose was a Scottish freemasonry symbol. Some info on golden-dawn.org/5 petalledrose
    It’s a symbol of the feminine and the human process of reproduction elevated to the spiritual.
    It was also a symbol of the early Magdalenes, my favourite meaning.
    Hilma appears to be depicting the flower in a Pythagorean sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree about the Pythagorean sense and I love your interpretation. So glad you enjoyed, Hilma was a very special artist and one has to admire some one would produces in secret such a body of work. My favourite Pre-Socratic is Heraclitus by the way.

      Like

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