De Stijl

The word De Stijl is in Dutch, and means ‘the style’ that the Dutch arts started during the movement in Amsterdam in 1917 and periodically by the same name. De Stijl was dedicated to abstration that would create a universal response from all the viewers based on a quest for harmony and order. Among the founders of the movement were the painters Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg, who also established its journal, De Stijl (1917 – 1932).

28279-004-197035F3Piet Mondrian

Theo_van_Doesburg_in_AubetteTheo van Doesburg

As a movement, De Stijl influenced paintings and decorative arts, including furniture design, typography and architecture, but it was principally architecture that realised both De Stijl’s stylistic aims and its goals of close collaboration among the arts. Beyond The Netherlands, the De Stijl aesthetic found expression at the Bauhaus in Germany during the 1920s and in the International Style.


Piet Mondrian (1872-1944)

Piet Cornelis Mondrian born March 7, 1872 in Amersfoort, The Netherlands and died February 1, 1944, New York U.S. was a painter who was an important leader in the development of modern abstract art and a major exponent of the Dutch abstract-art movement known as ‘De Stijl’. In his mature paintings, Modrian used the simplest combination of straight lines, right angles, primary colours, and black, white and grey. The resulting works posses an extreme formal purity that embodies the artist’s spiritual belief in a harmonious cosmos.


Theo van Doesburg (1883-1931)

Theo van Doesburg was a Dutch painter, decorator, poet and art theorist who was a leader of the ‘De Stijl’ movement. Born in August 30, 1883, Utrecht, Netherlands and died in March 7, 1931, Davos, Switzerland.

Originally van Doesburg intended to pursue a career in the theatre, but he turned to paintings in the 1900s. He worked in post-Impressionist and Fauvist styles until 1915, when he discovered Piet Mondrian’s work, which convinced him to paint geometric abstrations of subjects from nature.

Van Doesburg turned his attention away from painting around the 1920s, focusing instead on the promotion of De Stijl in Germany and France. He lectured at the Weimar Bauhaus from 1921 to 1923.

He returned to painting around 1924, at which time he decided to introduce the diagonal into his composition to increase the dynamic effect.



Design is History – De Stijl –


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