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Van Doesburg founded De Stijl periodical in Leiden in 1917. The name De Stijl also applied to the artists, architects and designers affiliated with the magazine, such as J.J.P. Oud, Piet Mondrian, Bart van der Leck, Vilmos Huszár, Georges Vantongerloo and Gerrit Rietveld. They aspired to a universal, abstract style. Van Doesburg propagated this as the Dutch contribution to Modernism.
In 1921 Van Doesburg and his girlfriend Nelly van Moorsel settled in Weimar, determined to convince everyone of the theories of De Stijl. The Bauhaus had just started in Weimar at that time. In his own Weimar studio, Van Doesburg gave so-called De Stijl courses, through which he greatly influenced the Bauhaus students and artists in Germany. Van Doesburg also made himself heard in organisational matters. People were warned!