de Stijl

(movement, 1917-1931)


De Stijl is the Dutch version of the art movement called Neoplasticism. Translated as ‘The Style’, this movement is officially founded in Amsterdam in 1917. Incidentally, De Stijl is also the name of the journal published by Theo van Doesburg, where the theories of this particular movement were enshrined.

De Stijl


The De Stijl movement of The Netherlands was officially established in the early 1920’s, by a group of artists and architects who were partly influenced by the DaDa movement. Founder by Architect Theo van Doesburg was joined by two other prominent artists in making the movement famous and successful, namely Gerrit Reitveld and Piet Mondrian.

Red and Blue Chair

As an Art Form

They key ideas of De Stijl revolve around spiritual and social redemption. The artists of this movement embraced the utopia of art and its potential to transform the horrors that World War I created. De Stijl uses geometric forms like straight lines, rectangles, and squares. It also uses primary colors as its main elements. The main purpose of this art movement is to create universal harmony.

Famous Artworks

One of the more famous works classified under the De Stijl movement is the Red and Blue Chair furniture created by Gerrit Rietveld in 1917. Founder Theo van Doesburg, who also in 1917, painted on canvas an artwork that he entitled ‘Composition VII’. It was also alternately referred to as ‘The Tree Graces’. Piet Mondrian, on the other hand, created the ‘Gray Tree’ for this movement in 1912.

Theo van Doesburg Composition VII

Famous Artists

Some of the other artists whose works are prominently associated to the De Stijl movement are architects Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers, Ettore Sottsas, and Philip Johnson. As for painters, the more famous ones are Ilya Bolotoswsky, Burgoyne Diller, Vilmos Huszar, Bart van der Leck, Marlow Moss, Kurt Schwitteres, and Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart. Scupltors Jean Gorin and Georges Vantongerloo also figured well in the De Stijl art movement.  

Artists de Stijl:
  • arp - zwa

The Dutch review De Stijl was founded in 1917 by Theo van Doesburg, and the name has come to represent the common aims and utopian vision of a loose affiliation of Dutch and international artists and architects. The central figures of De Stijl—van Doesburg and Piet Mondrian—strove for a universal form that would correspond to their spiritual vision. Neo-Plasticism (meaning “a new plastic art”) was the term adopted by Mondrian to describe the qualities that De Stijl artists endeavored to achieve in their work…
Name of journal founded in 1917 in Holland by pioneers of abstract art, Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg. Means style in Dutch. The name De Stijl also came to refer to the circle of artists that gathered around the publication. De Stijl became a vehicle for Mondrian’s ideas on art, and in a series of articles in the first year’s issues he defined his aims and used, perhaps for the first time, the term Neo-Plasticism…
De Stijl. Edited by Theo van Doesburg. Leiden, 1917-1932. 8 volumes (90 numbers).