Last Updated 27 Jan 2021

De Stijl

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De Stijl in Dutch means “ The Style”, also known as neoplasticism, was a Dutch artistic movement founded in 1917. The movement was mainly about creating geometric abstract paintings. In a narrower sense, De Stijl was a term used refers to a body of work from 1917 to 1931 founded in Netherlands. De Stijl was also the name of the journal, which published by the Dutch painter, designer, writer, and critic Theo van Doesburg (1883­–1931), propagating the group’s theories.

Besides him, the principal members of De Stijl group include painters Piet Mondrian (1872–1944), Vilmos Huszar (1884–1960), and Bart van der leck (1876-1958), and the architects Gerrit Rietveld (1888–1964), Robert van’t Hoff (1887–1979), and J. J. P. Oud (1890–1963). The basic artistic philosophy of the group’s work was known as neoplasticism — “the new plastic art (or Nieuwe Beelding in Dutch). ”In general, De Stijl used only straight horizontal and vertical lines and rectangular forms to proposed both in architecture and painring , the ultimate simplicity and abstraction. For example,the Red and Blue Chair designed by Gerrit Rietveld in 1917. They used limited colors like red, yellow, and blue as their formal vocabulary.

And they had three primary values, black, white, and grey. Their works used opposition to avoid symmetry and attained aesthetic balance. This element of the movement embodies the second meaning of stijl: a post, jamb or support”. It was the best example of the constructive crossing joints, most commonly seen in carpentry. De Stijl was influenced by Cubist painting as well as by the mysticism and the ideas about “ideal” geometric forms in the neoplatonic philosophy of mathematician M. H. J. Schoenmaekers. This movement also influenced the Bauhaus style and the international style of architecture as well as clothing and interior design.

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However, different from Bauhaus, De Stijl didn’t follow the general guidelines of an “ism” (Cubism, Futurism, Surrealism), nor did it held the principles of art schools like the Bauhaus. It was a collection of artworks and a joint enterprise. De Stijl completely rejected to use any concrete element. They advocated the use of pure geometric abstraction to express the pure spirit. They thought only to put aside specific description and details to avoid the individuality and specificity of an artwork, and then art could obtain the common human sense.

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De Stijl. (2018, Nov 05). Retrieved from

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