Gerrit Rietveld, Schröder House, Utrecht, Holland, 1924, Photo by HB, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution License.

Gerrit Rietveld’s Schröder House: Perfect Harmony in a Home

In 1917, Gerrit Rietveld joined Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg to form De Stijl, a utopian art movement.  For these artists, the goal of art was perfect balance and harmony and the means was abstraction.  They wanted to create art that was modern, pure, and devoid of national identification; therefore, they called it the International Style.  After World War I, these artists searched for a vehicle to create a utopian society.

In the Schröder House, the very first example of De Stijl architecture, Rietveld intended to design a home that was harmonious and embodied a dynamic equilibrium.  He borrowed the flat planes of color and the strong horizontal and vertical lines from Piet Mondrian’s paintings.  The solid form and geometry in both the house and the paintings reflect the artists’ belief that there is an underlying mathematical structure to the universe.  These artists thought that by helping their audience appreciate this balanced, mathematical universal order, they could assist them in understanding the spiritual realm.

More images of the Schröder House

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