Utrecht & Amersfoort - Birthplace of De Stijl
The Utrecht & Amersfoort region can rightfully call itself the birthplace of De Stijl, as it is the birthplace of the four most important artists associated with the movement: Theo van Doesburg (Utrecht, 1883), Bart van der Leck (Utrecht, 1876), Gerrit Rietveld (Utrecht, 1888) and Piet Mondrian (Amersfoort, 1872). Founder Theo van Doesburg was a native of Utrecht, and together with his colleagues from Utrecht and Amersfoort brought about a radical change in art. Traditional art forms were replaced by straight lines, geometric shapes and a minimal use of colour (primary colours in combination with black, white and grey). The Utrecht & Amersfoort region has been closely linked to De Stijl ever since, and works of art as well as its influences can still be seen in both cities.
Several cycle routes have been mapped out that allow you to see the influence of De Stijl with your own eyes, including an express cycle route between Utrecht and Amersfoort linked by ten artworks inspired by De Stijl. There are also walking routes that take you to key sites of interest connected with De Stijl in Utrecht and Amersfoort.
In Utrecht, the Centraal Museum boasts the largest collection of Rietveld's work, regularly on display, and in Amersfoort the recently renovated Mondriaanhuis is a special experience for all ages. In short, the province of Utrecht has a wealth of De Stijl-related attractions and activities to discover!
Mondrian and Rietveld
Mondrian and Rietveld made an especially strong mark on the region. In Amersfoort is the house where Piet Mondrian was born, and in Utrecht the iconic Rietveld Schröder House (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is regarded as the defining architectural achievement of De Stijl. Moreover, Utrecht is home to the largest Rietveld collection in the world, including the original Red Blue Chair, which is permanently on display in the Centraal Museum. Kunsthal KAdE and the Rietveld Pavilion in Amersfoort presented special exhibitions spotlighting the Mondrian to Dutch Design Year, and in 2017 Slot Zuilen made the earliest known works by artist Gerrit Rietveld and his father available for public viewing for the very first time.