Monday, December 10, 2012



Perhaps one of the greatest architects of the century - Frank Lloyd Wright was a great inspiration to the De Stjil movement. Having pioneered the use of reinforced concrete, extreme cantilevers, and a theory of using geometry, specifically intersecting horizontal, and vertical lines/planes, Wright's ideas would prove to be show up occasionally in Rietveld's work. This is especially true in the Rietveld-Schroder House where Rietveld uses cantilevered concrete balconies, and develops a structure created of intersecting lines and planes which help define the space that house was built in.


Born in 1856, Berlage was one of Netherland's most famous and important architects. Having originally studied with Gottfried Semper in Switzerland, Berlage soon came back to the Netherlands to practice architecture. Berlage visited the United States in 1911, and was greatly inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's work. Upon his return to the Netherlands, he continued to disseminate Wright's ideas and theories into Dutch architecture. Many of the De Stijl architects such as Oud and Wils worked with Berlage, and were similarly enthused by Wright's work.


Gropius is the famed German architect who founded the Bauhaus in 1919. Together with Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, and Frank Lloyd Wright,Gropius is often considered as one of pioneers of modern architecture as we know of it. The founding of the Bauhaus was critical as it allowed the generation of a new architectural vocabulary in the post World War I era. When the Nazis took over Germany and World War II broke out, Gropius, under pretext emigrated to Britain, and then to the United States to teach at Harvard. He remained outside of Germany for the rest of his life.


Born as Charles-Edouard Jeanneret in 1887, in Switzerland, Le Corbusier would prove to be one of the most important architects of the twentieth century. A contemporary of the De Stijl members, Le Corbusier produced many important pieces of writing that helped European architects of the late 1920s to fully develop the new architectural syntax that they wished to produce. Pieces such as the Five Points of Architecture, Towards a New Architecture and the founding of CIAM are critical points in the architectural history of the 1920s. Rietveld himself broke with De Stijl in 1928 to join CIAM.


El Lissitzky was a Jewish-Russian artist, and architect who was a major figure of the Russian avant-garde movement. As a member of the Russian Constructivists - a group that formed in response to, and after the October Revolution - El Lissitzky subscribed to the ideals that art should be in service to social needs. The new aesthetic in art, according to the Constructivists should be governed by strict geometry and simple colours. This placed El Lissitzky and the Constructivist movement quite parallel to the De Stijl movement in Holland. In fact, in 1922 when van Doesburg was in Germany, he and El Lissitzky met, and became close friends with their shared ideals. Lissitzky also visited the Rietveld-Schroder House in 1926, and was full of praise for its design, open plan, and colours. 

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