3 tube Hartog Lamp
The Hartog Lamp (also called the L 40 Pendant Lamp) was first designed in 1922 by the Dutch furniture designer and architect Gerrit Rietveld (1888-1964), for the consulting room of Dr Hartog. The lamp consists simply of bare tubular light bulbs with a wooden block that is attached at both sides of the tubes suspended from sticks linked to a ceiling plate. This version is composed of three tubular light bulbs, but Rietveld also created versions with four light bulbs. The lamp can be seen as a reflection of some of the ideas that defined the De Stijl movement, of which Rietveld was one of the leading exponents from 1919.
Rietveld stripped the traditional forms of a lamp down into simple ‘basic’ geometric components and put it together again in a new composition that created a new unity, a ‘whole’ but still accentuating the separate parts. The lamp can be perceived simultaneously both as a complete whole and as assemblage of individual elements.  It reflected a view of De Stijl which meant an essential ordering of structure in art, furniture, architecture could also function as a sign for an ethical view of society, where the relationship between the individual and collective was important. “The separating out and combining of such elements into new and unusual configurations was a crucial part of the formal vocabulary of De Stijl.”  The simplicity of the lamp also accentuates the possibilities of technology which was important for Rietveld, who investigated new methods of production and new technology in which laid the power of transformation.
The wood fittings were painted in black which created a contrast against the white light bulbs. Black and white were two of the emblematic tones or colours of the De Stijl movement, which also incorporated ‘pigment primary’ colours – blue, red and yellow – and greys.
The tubular light bulbs were organized vertically and horizontally creating a three-dimensional hanging light sculpture. The use of ‘orthogonals’ was defining for De Stijl and Rietveld examined the interaction of vertical and planes in this lamp in the similar way as he did in other designs and in his architecture. Artists connected to De Stijl such as Piet Mondrian also examined the interaction between the same palette of colours and ‘orthongonals’ extensively.
Therese Wiles, April 2022
 Paul Overy. De Stijl (London: Thames & Hudson, 2001), 25.
 Paul Overy. De Stijl (London: Thames & Hudson, 2001), 9.
Colquhoun, Alan. “The Avant-gardes in Holland and Russia” in Alan Colquhoun, Modern Architecture (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002),109-136.
Curtis, William J.R.”Cubism, De Stijl and New Conceptions of Space” in William J.R. Curtis Modern Architecture Since 1900 (London: Phaidon, 1996), 149-159.
Frampton, Kenneth. “ De Stijl: the evolution and dissolution of Neo-Plasticism” in Kenneth Frampton Modern Architecture – A Critical History (London: Thames & Hudson , 2007), 142-148.
Overy, Paul. De Stijl (London: Thames & Hudson, 2001).
Overy, Paul. “Carpentering the Classic: A Very Peculiar Practice. The Furniture of Gerrit Rietveld” in Journal of Design History , 1991, Vol. 4, No. 3 (1991), pp. 135-166
Not on display
Title/Description: 3 tube Hartog Lamp
Artist/Maker: Gerrit Rietveld
Born: 1968 c.
Object Type: Furniture, Lamp, Lighting device
Measurements: h. 915 x w. 300 x d. 300 mm
Accession Number: 31222
Historic Period: 20th century
School/Style: De Stijl, Modernism