Mondriaan in De Pijp

Piet Mondriaan lived at ten different addresses in Amsterdam between 1892 and 1911. A number of these were in the district of De Pijp: apart from Sarphatistraat, he also lived at Albert Cuypstraat 158 and 272, Stadhouderskade 5 and Ruysdaelkade 75. For Mondriaan, De Pijp was a familiar environment: he studied at the Rijksakademie voor Beeldende Kunsten (Royal Academy of Visual Arts) on Stadhouderskade from 1892-1894 and was a member of the Theosophical movement, which assembled in what was then the Cinetol library on Tolstraat.

 

Piet Mondriaan's studio was once inside this building on the Sarphatistraat

Black and white

The building was specially designed in 1889-1890 as a shop premises with studio apartments above. It was always home to a large number of artists, who had their studio at the front of the building and lived at the back. At this time, Mondriaan’s paintings were still impressionistic, with plenty of colour, and predominantly depicted the neighbourhood of De Pijp – very different to the grid compositions that he later used so consistently in Paris.

 

The National Academy of Fine Arts where Mondriaan studied, 1875

Neo-Renaissance

The building is not just special because Mondriaan once lived here. Even the careful finish of the (strikingly narrow and high) façade in Neo-Renaissance style, and unique details such as the cast-iron decorative column in the windows, make the building a worthwhile sight. Furthermore, the house constitutes an indispensable element within the historic façade along the Sarphatipark.