Born in Utrecht in 1888, the Dutch designer, architect and painter Gerrit Rietveld spent his entire life in the city of his birth. The son of a carpenter, Gerrit Rietveld was employed in his father's workshop until he was fifteen. Until 1913 Gerrit Rietveld was employed as a draftsman in the workshop of the goldsmith C.J.A. Begeer. From 1906, Gerrit Rietveld also attended evening courses, where he learned technical draftsmanship from the architect P.J.C. Klaarhamer.
In 1911-12 Gerrit Rietveld was a member of the group of artists known as Kunstliefde, with whom he also showed work. In 1917 Gerrit Rietveld established a furniture workshop in Utrecht. By 1919, however, Gerrit Rietveld had joined Theo van Doesburg, Piet Mondrian, and other artists to found "De Stijl"; Rietveld would become one of the most important and influential artists in that celebrated group. The "De Stijl" artists formulated a language of forms that was intended to attain the greatest objectivity and autonomy in a work of art; their works are stringently non-representational, radically reduced to a geometric arrangement of horizontals and verticals and a palette consisting of the primary colors red, yellow, and blue with the addition of black and white. De Stijl applied these principles to both two-dimensional and three-dimensional work, such as furnishings and architecture.