When Van Doesburg came to Leiden his style was expressionist, however, in the course of 1917 his work became increasingly more abstract. In successive stages he increasingly more abstracted the recognizable subject to a fully abstract work. From the very beginning Van Doesburg was also interested in the depiction of movement in his works of art. To this end, he introduced the diagonal in his works in the 1920s, so-called Contra compositions. This was thought to be one of the causes of his rift with Mondrian in 1925, as Mondrian stuck to horizontal and vertical lines and blocks in the primary colours red, blue and yellow in his compositions. Van Doesburg said that the diagonal represented the dynamic principle of modern life.