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Red Blue Chair: M.1-2022

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Red Blue Chair


Designer: Rietveld, Gerrit Thomas
Maker: Groenekan, Gerard A. van der




Armchair, beech frame with plywood panels, comprising a red-painted back and a blue-painted seat, set at angles to the frame and overlapping. The frame of straight stanchions and rails (13 in total) set at right angles, square in cross section, apart from the arms which are rectangular in cross section, all painted black, the ends painted in yellow.

Legal notes

Given by the Executors of the Estate of David Scrase, 2021, in memory of Rick Mather

Place(s) associated

  • Utrecht ⪼ Netherlands

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (2022) by Executors of the Estate of David Scrase


Form designed by Rietveld in 1918, colour scheme designed in 1923. This later edition (date of production TBC) was made by Gerard A. Van Der Groenekan (1904–94), Utrecht, Rietveld’s original studio assistant and furniture fabricator, responsible for much of Rietveld’s furniture output from the 1920s onwards, continuing to produce limited examples of Rietveld’s furniture until the 1980s and 1990s. This chair is the most iconic piece of furniture associated with the Dutch De Stijl movement and reflects the intersection of horizontal and vertical planes seen in Rietveld’s architectural designs. Constructing a chair from its most basic components, the form was originally designed in 1918 with a plain, stained finish (see the example in V&A, accession number W.9-1989). This primary colour scheme was added in 1923, a scheme closely associated with the De Stijl movement and the work of Piet Mondrian. Rietveld originally trained as a carpenter and intended for his furniture to be mass-produced, as part of what he hoped would be a harmonious rebuilding of physical and social society after World War I. With this in mind, the pieces of wood that compose the Red Blue Chair were those of the standard lumber sizes readily available at the time.

Components of the work

Panels composed of plywood
Frame composed of beech

Techniques used in production


Identification numbers

Accession number: M.1-2022
Primary reference Number: 311371
Object entry form: 1490
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Monday 18 July 2022 Updated: Wednesday 16 August 2023 Last processed: Wednesday 16 August 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Red Blue Chair" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-14 12:52:04

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{{cite web|url= |title=Red Blue Chair |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-14 12:52:04|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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