De Stijl – Will

Dutch for ‘the style’ was a Dutch artistic movement founded in 1917. Dutch designer and writer Theo Van Doerburg published the journal named ‘De Stilj’ spreading the movements theories.


Principal members were the painters Piet Mondrian,  Vilmos huszar, and Bart Van der Leck along with architects Gerrit Rietveld, Robert van’t Hoft and J.J.P Oud. The philosophy behind the work is known as neoplasticism – the new plastic art.

De Stijl design uses a reduction down to the essentials of form and colour the use of primary colours along with black and white and only straight lines.

De Stijl was influenced by Cubist painting as well as by the mysticism and the ideas about “ideal” geometric forms (such as the “perfect straight line”) in the neoplatonic philosophy of mathemaatician M.H.J Schoenmaekers. The works of De Stijl would influence the Bauhaus style and the international style of architecture as well as clothing and interior design. However, it did not follow the general guidelines of an “ism” (Cubism, Futurism, Surrealism), nor did it adhere to the principles of art schools like the Bauhaus; it was a collective project, a joint enterprise.


Works by De Stijl members are scattered all over the world, but De Stijl-themed exhibitions are organised regularly. Museums with large De Stijl collections include the gemeentemuseum in The Hague and the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum where many works by Rietveld and Van Doesburg are on display. The Centrall Museum of Utrecht has the largest Rietveld collection worldwide.




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