De Stijl

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Stijl, de

(də stīl) [Du.,=the style], Dutch nonfigurative art movement, also called neoplasticism. In 1917 a group of artists, architects, and poets was organized under the name de Stijl, and a journal of the same name was initiated. The leaders of the movement were the artists Theo van DoesburgDoesburg, Theo van
, 1883–1931, Dutch painter, teacher, and writer. Together with Mondrian he founded the magazine De Stijl and successfully proselytized in Europe for the new aesthetic of abstraction, simplicity, clarity, and harmony.
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 and Piet MondrianMondrian, Piet
, 1872–1944, Dutch painter. He studied at the academy in Amsterdam and passed through an early naturalistic phase. In 1910 he went to Paris, where the influence of cubism stimulated the development of his geometric, nonobjective style, which he called
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. They advocated a purification of art, eliminating subject matter in favor of vertical and horizontal elements, and the use of primary colors and noncolors. Their austerity of expression influenced architects, principally J. J. P. OudOud, Jacobus Johannes Pieter
, 1890–1963, Dutch architect. Oud's interest in abstract painting led him to conceive of buildings composed in terms of pure planes. With several painters, including Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg, he became associated with the influential
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 and Gerrit RietveldRietveld, Gerrit Thomas
, 1888–1965, Dutch architect and furniture designer. At first a cabinetmaker, Rietveld created (c.1917) a chair that was an important contribution to modern furniture design.
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. The movement lasted until 1931; in architecture a few de Stijl principles are still applied.


See study by H. L. C. Jaffé (1968).

De Stijl

Term meaning “The Style,” derived from the name of a group of Dutch artists and the journal founded by the painter Theo van Doesberg in 1917; other members of the group included Piet Mondrian, Reitveld, and Oud. It was influenced by Cubism, and proposed an abstracted expression divorced from nature; instead, advocating straight lines, pure planes, right angles, and primary colors. It had a profound influence on the Bauhaus movement.

De Stijl


an avant-garde group of Dutch architects and artists that was founded in Leiden in 1917 around the journal De Stijl (1917–28). The group disbanded in 1931.

The De Stijl artists advanced neoplasticism, that is, the rejection of the representational, social, and cognitive tasks of art and the turning to pure forms, generalized to the maximum degree. In painting the style led to a geometric form of abstract art, as seen in the works of P. Mondrian, T. van Doesburg (the group’s organizer and theorist), and B. van der Leck. The architectural style of De Stijl was marked by strict mathematical measurements and ascetically precise spatial composition; these qualities especially distinguish the designs of van Doesburg, J. J. P. Oud, and G. Rietveld. De Stijl architecture to some extent influenced the development of functionalism.


Modernizm (2nd ed.). Moscow, 1973. Pages 130–38.
Jaffé, H. L. C. De Stijl, 1917–1931. The Dutch Contribution to Modern Art. Amsterdam, 1956.

de Stijl

An architectural movement from about 1917 to 1931, which originated in The Netherlands, that placed emphasis on functionalism, rationalism, and current methods of construction, in contrast to historical precedent and traditional methods of construction. This movement had a significant influence on the development of Modern architecture.
References in periodicals archive ?
In response to a retrospective of Mondrian's work by the Museum of Modern Art in 1945, Newman contrasted the Dutch painter's neoplasticism to his own developing style, which he referred to as plasmic.
As a result, Lasker provides a detailed reading of Benedetta's novel as a recreation, both structural and thematic, of Mondrian's theory of abstraction: "Benedetta puts Mondrian's art theory, Neoplasticism, into literary practice.
The term neoplasticism was coined by Mondrian's friend the Dutch mathematician and theosophist M.
Neoplasticism is the belief that art should not be the reproduction of real objects, but the expression of the absolutes of life.
In this essay, I make the case for Benedetta's appropriation of Mondrian's Neoplasticism both structurally and thematically in Le forze umane.
For example, in a letter from 1924, van Doesburg thanks Marinetti for his interest in Neoplasticism and expresses his desire to meet and discuss several things with him on his next trip to Paris.
Instead, Mondrian maintained that Neoplasticism unveiled the natural and represented it with the universal in a pure, spiritual way through the intersection of vertical and horizontal lines to form rectangles, and the use of primary colors with black, white, and grey.
In NeoPlasticism Mondrian writes that "verbal art will have to destroy form indirectly [.
These portrayals, along with Luciana's familial and childhood experiences, are characteristic of traditional types of narrative that can correspond to art that is dominated by Mondrian's individual or outward elements, which Neoplasticism was to overcome.
Additionally, Benedetta's comparison of her work relates to Neoplasticism.
Influenced as he was by theosophy, Mondrian often describes Neoplasticism as if it were a pseudo-religion and a mystical experience.