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Exhibition Klimt and Antiquity at the Belvedere in Vienna – from 23 June 2017 to 8 October 2017

Erotic Encounters

This exhibition explores the fascinating dialogue between Gustav Klimt’s work and classical art. A selection of examples from the artist’s oeuvre illustrates a fundamental shift in his understanding of antiquity. Whereas his early work, influenced by Historicism, reveals an interest in the details of classical art, after 1900 he translated the spirit of antiquity into his own formal language. The exhibition illustrates this development through juxtaposing Klimt’s work with classical vase painting and casts of sculptures that inspired the artist.

Further highlights are Klimt’s illustrations for a new edition of Dialogues of the Courtesans by Lucian (c. 120–185 A.D.). Published in 1907, this erotic compilation represents a perfect pairing of Klimt’s risqué drawings with Josef Hoffmann’s Wiener Werkstätte design to create one of European Jugendstil’s most beautiful books. Select examples of Attic red-figure vase paintings offer a glimpse of the world in which the classical author Lucian set his Dialogues of the Courtesans. Although separated by more than two millennia, the interplay between classical vase painting and Klimt’s linear art reveals surprising correlations, unveiling new perspectives on how the artist appreciated antiquity.

The exhibition is a cooperation with the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

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Picture: Gustav Klimt, Die Poesie (Detail Beethovenfries), 1901/1902 © Belvedere Vienna

Exhibition Horta in America 1916-1918 at the Autrique House – from 28 January to 1st October 2017

Exiled in the United States during the Great War, Victor Horta, accompanied by his wife, discovered the excesses of nature and architecture in America. For four years, he led the life of an itinerant lecturer in the United States: while Julia, his second wife, pleaded the cause of wounded Belgium, Horta spoke of the treasures of old art. His architectural conceptions will be disrupted.

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Picture: Poster of the exhibition "Horta in America 1916-1918" © Maison Autrique

Restorations of the Villa Majorelle and the Ecole de Nancy Museum in Nancy

Villa under construction !

Listed historical monument in 1996, the Villa Majorelle experiences in 1999 a partial restoration of the outside that enables today to better understand the richness polychromatic of materials used by the architect. After a first campaign of works in 2013, important works were launched in autumn 2016 for one year. The villa will thus find its familiar shape. This campaign will be followed in a second phase by a more complete restoration of the interior of the building – restoration and installation of the furniture in its original setting, to make of this Art Nouveau place a unique house, witness of the big relationship that united without distinction all arts.

Work campaign 2016-2017 :

The restoration workshop Grégoire André, which ensures the works management, realized a series of preliminary studies necessary to the complete diagnosis of the building, in collaboration with other specialized companies. Following this studies, it was decided to completely renovate the roof, which presented infiltrations, in order to give it again its original aspect, with the use of flawed, tied and round slates as well with the restoration of fireplaces, and in particular the reintegration of cowls, left in 2004.

To this purpose a complete scaffolding, topped with a total umbrella protecting from bad weather, was built around the villa. The whole structure was updated, enabling to discover prior works and to bring several information on the original roof. The fireplace cowls in flamed sandstone, gone in restoration in a Parisian workshop, were cleaned and prepared to find back their original location in the following weeks. At the same time a cleaning of the façades was carried out, completed by the replacement of the damaged stones, the repair of some joints, the cleaning of elements in sandstone, the restoration of the fresco with a décor of cock and the painting of the carpentries.

Finally, in the first phase, the balconies, and in particular the metal elements (railing, parapets…) must be restored, consolidated and reinstalled. In spite of the difficult climate conditions that were experienced in this beginning of the year, that force to postpone some interventions, the works progress to the expected rhythm. See you in September!

The Ecole de Nancy Museum rebuilds itself in beauty!

Since autumn 2016, the Ecole de Nancy museum, located in the former property of Eugène Corbin, is subjected to a works campaign of the external renovation.

Without rivaling with the impressive scaffoldings of the Villa Majorelle, the museum is also entitled to its metal armature for several weeks again.

Thus, the terrace that overlooks the garden, located at the entrance of the museum, is currently subjected to a renovation that consists in a change of the floor coating, weakened by the time and that became too heavy for the structure, a repair of handrails and the period metal garden boxes, owing to their nature very susceptible to degradation, and the putting on a new gutter. This part of the works must be achieved in the end of February.

Other interventions must follow, such as the paintings of the portals, railings, shutters, handrails and all pieces of wooden furniture that have a view of the garden, the repair of the some external floors in stone and tiles as well as the restoration of the walls of fence and low walls of the garden.

All these operations are progressively led, in order to disturb the less possible the visitor during its visit.

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Picture: Henri Sauvage, Villa Majorelle © MEN, photograph: Pierre Mignot

Release of the 22th issue of Bruxelles Patrimoines by the DMS in Brussels – June 2017

The Bruxelles Patrimoines magazine devotes its 22nd edition to Art Nouveau. Without aiming any exhaustiveness, it proposes, through various articles and testimonies, to demonstrate that beyond the ideal image that we think we have of Art Nouveau, there are still many enigmas and discoveries to be made. Also beyond a protection that can be thought guaranteed by the tourist enthusiasm and by media coverage around this style, vigilance remains significant to ensure the continuity of these masterpieces that make the reputation of Brussels as Capital of Art Nouveau more relevant than ever.

Follows an invitation to travel a little further in time, to the discovery of the Brussels of the seventeenth century. First, by wearing the investigator's hat in search of the identity of a mysterious Brussels urban hotel represented on a remarkable painting recently acquired by the Roi Baudouin Foundation but that remained unidentified for a long time. Then, by discovering the landscapes of Brussels in the 17th century thanks to the drawings by the Florentine artist Remigio Cantagallina, to whom will be devoted this summer not less than three exhibitions and three publications. A certainly not to be missed moment !

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Picture: Cover of the "Bruxelles Patrimoines" Magazine © DMS - SPRB

Call for interest PhD project Art Nouveau and the Aesthetic of the Interior in Belgian Art and Literature (1890-1920)

Inside/Out: Art Nouveau and the Aesthetic of the Interior in Belgian Art and Literature (1890-1920)

Supervised by Prof Claire Moran, Queen’s University of Belfast
Secondary supervised by Prof Denis Laoureux (Art History), Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB).

This PhD questions the relationship between the emergence of the architectural movement, conventionally known as Ad Nouveau, on the one hand, and an obsession with domestic interior spaces in Belgian ad and literature at the turn of the century, on the other.

More information

The start of the PhD is set on September 2017.

Contact Claire Moran ( and Denis Laoureux ( to express your interest.

Picture: Fernand Khnopff, Roses, 1912

With the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union

Responsible publisher: Arlette Verkruyssen, General Director,
Brussels Regional Public Service - Bruxelles Développement urbain (Brussels Urban Development),
CCN - Rue du Progrès 80, B. 1, 1035 Brussels - Belgium


With the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union