Skip to main content

Gerrit Rietveld

Best known for his Red and Blue chair, a modernist icon created using only two plywood plates and 15 connecting bars, Dutch designer Gerrit Thomas Rietveld trained as a cabinetmaker, and his bold vision for furniture was supported by his expertise in construction and craftsmanship.

Born in Utrecht, Rietveld learned goldsmithing in addition to the cabinetry apprenticeship he had in his carpenter father’s workshop. He studied draftsmanship with architect Piet Klaarhamer at the Utrecht Museum of Applied Arts and opened his own furniture workshop in 1917. In the 1930s, Rietveld began to experiment with then-unusual materials like plywood and aluminum, and he pursued intellectual concepts through his design, even considering a seat as a resting place for the body and the soul.

Designed in 1918, the minimalist Red and Blue chair is widely coveted by collectors and gained admirers in the likes of legendary American sculptor and designer Donald Judd over the years. (Examples of Rietveld’s designs can be found in Judd’s restored home-museum in New York City.) The Red and Blue chair is so stunning in its geometric simplicity that it is one of the most important symbols of the Dutch art and design movement of the early 20th century called De Stijl, of which Rietveld was an important part. De Stijl means “the Style” and was an effort to express utopian values through pure abstraction in design and the use of primary colors.

Another example of Rietveld’s celebrated seating furniture is the Zig-Zag chair, which was commissioned by the Dutch department store Metz & Co. and intended to be mass-produced. The resulting design — to which the rights to manufacture were bought by Cassina in 1971 — is the essence of the De Stijl movement and an example of Rietveld’s experiments with jointless chairs made from a single material, wood. The Zig-Zag chair’s armless, legless, elegant form is pure abstraction, yet it is also sturdy and comfortable.

Later in his career, Rietveld worked more often as an architect, designing buildings in prestigious settings like the Venice Biennale. He was a pioneer in more ways than one: The first building he designed, Rietveld Schröder House in Utrecht in 1924, is a radically modern space and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000.

Find vintage Gerrit Rietveld furniture on 1stDibs.

Iconic Designs from Gerrit Rietveld
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Gerrit Rietveld Red And Blue Chair
Gerrit Rietveld Red And Blue Chair
Gerrit Rietveld Zigzag Chair
Gerrit Rietveld Zigzag Chair
Italian modern Velvet sofa Utrecht by Gerrit Thomas Rietveld for Cassina , 1990s
By Cassina, Gerrit Rietveld
Located in MIlano, IT
Italian modern Velvet sofa mod. Utrecht by Gerrit Thomas Rietveld for Cassina , 1990s fantastic three-seater sofa mod. Utrecht with curved seat and backrest, padded and upholstered ...
Category

1990s Italian Modern Gerrit Rietveld

Materials

Velvet

Gerrit Thomas Rietveld Zig Zag Chair by Cassina
By Cassina, Gerrit Rietveld
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Chair designed by Gerrit Thomas Rietveld in 1934. Manufactured by Cassina in Italy, relaunched in 1973/2011. Designed by Gerrit Rietveld, this chair provided an early example of a...
Category

2010s Italian Mid-Century Modern Gerrit Rietveld

Materials

Wood

Gerrit Thomas Rietveld Zig Zag Chair by Cassina
Gerrit Thomas Rietveld Zig Zag Chair by Cassina
H 29.14 in W 14.57 in D 16.93 in
Gerrit Thomas Rietveld Zig Zag Chair by Cassina
By Gerrit Rietveld, Cassina
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Chair designed by Gerrit Thomas Rietveld in 1934. Relaunched in 1973/ 2011. Manufactured by Cassina in Italy. Designed by Gerrit Rietveld, this chair provided an early example of a ...
Category

2010s Italian Mid-Century Modern Gerrit Rietveld

Materials

Wood

Gerrit Thomas Rietveld Zig Zag Chair by Cassina
Gerrit Thomas Rietveld Zig Zag Chair by Cassina
H 29.14 in W 14.57 in D 16.93 in
Set of Ten Early 'Zig Zag' Chairs by Gerrit Rietveld for Cassina, 1973, Signed
By Cassina, Gerrit Rietveld
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This set of ten early year 'Zig Zag' chairs by Gerrit Rietveld for Cassina are the holy grail of collectors pieces. Extremely rare and coveted, original 'Zig Zag' chairs are a part o...
Category

1970s Italian De Stijl Vintage Gerrit Rietveld

Materials

Wood

Set of Two Utrech Armchair by Gerrit Thomas Rietveld for Cassina
By Cassina, Gerrit Rietveld
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Armchairs designed by Gerrit Thomas Rietveld in 1935. Relaunched in 2015. Manufactured by Cassina in Italy. Gerrit T. Rietveld came up with the design for the Utrecht armchair in 19...
Category

2010s Italian Mid-Century Modern Gerrit Rietveld

Materials

Fabric

Gerrit Rietveld Utrecht Chairs, Cassina, Newly Upholstered in Pure Alpaca
By Gerrit Rietveld, Cassina
Located in London, GB
A pair of Gerrit Rietveld Utrecht armchairs, produced by Cassina, upholstered in a premium silvery light grey pure Alpaca fabric. Fast shipping worl...
Category

Mid-20th Century Dutch Mid-Century Modern Gerrit Rietveld

Materials

Alpaca, Wood

Gerrit Thomas Rietveld Zig Zag Chair by Cassina
By Cassina, Gerrit Rietveld
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Chair designed by Gerrit Thomas Rietveld in 1934. Relaunched in 1973/ 2011. Manufactured by Cassina in Italy. Designed by Gerrit Rietveld, this chair provided an early example of a ...
Category

2010s Italian Mid-Century Modern Gerrit Rietveld

Materials

Wood

Gerrit Thomas Rietveld Zig Zag Chair by Cassina
Gerrit Thomas Rietveld Zig Zag Chair by Cassina
H 29.14 in W 14.57 in D 16.93 in
Gerrit Thomas Rietveld Utrecht Armchair by Cassina
By Cassina, Gerrit Rietveld
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Armchair designed by Gerrit Thomas Rietveld in 1935. Relaunched in 2015. Manufactured by Cassina in Italy. Gerrit T. Rietveld came up with the design for the Utrecht armchair in 193...
Category

2010s Italian Mid-Century Modern Gerrit Rietveld

Materials

Fabric

Browse all Furniture from Gerrit Rietveld
Shop Now

Creators Similar to Gerrit Rietveld

More Gerrit Rietveld Designs
Gerrit Rietveld Red And Blue Chair
Gerrit Rietveld Red And Blue Chair
Average Price
$3,833
Number Available
8
Gerrit Rietveld Red And Blue Chair
By Gerrit Rietveld
Materials
Wood
Styles
Mid Century Modern
With its geometric composition and primary colors, the Red and Blue armchair has become the definitive symbol of the Dutch De Stijl (“the Style”) movement. The chair’s creator, Gerrit Rietveld (1888–1964), was perhaps an unlikely pioneer of this revolutionary aesthetic movement given his traditional path to making furniture. The son of a carpenter in Utrecht, Rietveld left school at age 11 to begin an apprenticeship with his father. Later, he attended night school and worked for a goldsmith. ...
Shop All
Gerrit Rietveld Zigzag Chair
Gerrit Rietveld Zigzag Chair
Average Price
$24,709
Number Available
3
Gerrit Rietveld Zigzag Chair
By Gerrit Rietveld
Materials
Wood, Pine, Softwood
Styles
Mid Century Modern, De Stijl
“It is not a chair but a designer joke,” Gerrit Rietveld (1888–1964) famously said of the piece that would, ironically, become perhaps his most recognizable chair design. Introduced in 1934, the Zig-Zag chair was the result of Dutch department store Metz & Co having enlisted Rietveld to create a chair for mass production.By this time, Rietveld had gained international acclaim for designs like his famous Red and Blue chair as well as the groundbreaking Rietveld Schröder House (1924) in his...
Shop All

Gerrit Rietveld furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Gerrit Rietveld furniture are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of wood and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Gerrit Rietveld furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. We have 59 vintage editions of these items in-stock, while there is 66 modern edition to choose from as well. Many of the original furniture by Gerrit Rietveld were created in the mid-century modern style in europe during the 21st century and contemporary. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Wim Rietveld, UMS Pastoe, Le Corbusier, Jeanneret, and Perriand. Prices for Gerrit Rietveld furniture can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $106 and can go as high as $42,300, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $5,858.
Questions About Gerrit Rietveld
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Gerrit Rietveld's style reflects the characteristics of De Stijl, a Dutch art movement active in the early 20th century. Rietveld created simple, sleek furniture designs easily manufactured in mass by machines. Shop a variety of Gerrit Rietveld furniture on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Gerrit Rietveld used a variety of materials. He was one of the first furniture makers to employ plywood and aluminum in furniture designs. Two of his most famous pieces are the Red Blue chair and the Zig Zag chair. Shop a selection of Gerrit Rietveld furniture on 1stDibs.

Recently Viewed

View All