In 1893 the architect Victor Horta designed the first Art nouveau building for professor Emile Tassel. This terrace house was the first convincing example of the rejuvenation that architecture was to undergo. This project soon let to new opportunities: mansions for Armand Solvay and Edmond Van Eetvelde, the Maison du Peuple for the Socialist Party,… To profuse variety of colour in the interior, the direct expression of programmatic needs in its architecture, the transformation of purely technical demands, the visible use of steel beams in the interior, the play of natural light inside the building, the same elements that are found in Victor Horta’s work.

Paul Hankar’s influence determined the course of the further development of Art Nouveau. His achievements bear testimony to his love of building materials and colourful combinations of them, of traditional methods and techniques. A striking feature of Hankar’s numerous shop fronts is the slenderness and elegance of the woodwork, which looks as if it was curved and bent by nature itself. Henry van de Velde considers the “line as a force”, as an elementary force of nature.

The example of pioneers like Horta, Hankar and van de Velde lead to the influence of Art Nouveau spreading from Brussels to the whole of Europe.

Brussels soon evolved from a beautiful 19th century city abundant with remarkable examples of eclectic architecture, into the capital of Art Nouveau. Once it had found its real domain, Art Nouveau diverged into various styles: Horta adepts like Gustave Strauven and Ernst Blérot, further developed its floral aspects. Léon Sneyers and Paul Hamesse, both students of Paul Hankar, developed the pure rationality of architecture to the point where the bare white plane had acquired a right to exist as architecture. Designers like Paul Cauchie, Victor Taelemans, Jean-Baptiste Dewin each tried to find their own personal style within this geometric trend. The street was transformed into a stage for unfolding of a oeuvre, the peak of artistic skill and workmanship.

Image artist function date
Ernest Blérot architect, decorator, property developer 1870-1957
Paul Cauchie architect, painter, decorator, sgraffito specialist, designer 1844-1952
Adolphe Crespin painter-decorator, poster artist, sgraffito author 1859-1944
Fernand Dubois sculptor, silversmith 1861-1939
Alfred William Finch painter, engraver, ceramist 1854-1930
Paul Hamesse architect, decorator, designer 1877-1956
Paul Hankar architect, decorator, designer 1859-1901
Victor Horta architect, decorator, designer 1861-1947
Henry Jacobs architect 1864-1935
Privat Livemont poster artist 1861-1936
Antoine Pompe architect, silversmith, designer 1873-1980
Paul Saintenoy architect, decorator 1862-1952
Gustave Serrurier-Bovy architect, cabinetmaker, decorator 1858-1910
Léon Sneyers architect, designer, cabinetmaker 1877-1948
Gustave Strauven architect, inventor 1878-1919
Henry van de Velde painter, architect, decorator, designer, cabinetmaker 1863-1957
Philippe Wolfers silversmith, jewel designer, sculptor 1858-1929
Cover Author Description date Link
Pierre & François Loze; Belgique Art Nouveau- De Victor Horta à Antoine Pompe,
EIFFEL Editions, 1991, ISBN 2-930010-05-3

Franco Borsi & Hans Wieser Bruxelles- Capitale de l'Art Nouveau
Marc Vokar Editeur, 1992, ISBN 2-87012-008-7

Françoise Dierkens-Aubry & Jos Vandenbreeden Art Nouveau en Belgique- Architecture & Interieurs
Editions DUCULOT, 1991, ISBN 2-8011-0956-8

Eric Hennaut La Façade Art Nouveau à Bruxelles - Artisans et Métiers
Editions Archives d'Art Modernes, 2005, ISBN 2-87143-159-0

Françoise Aubry, Christine Bastin & Jacques Evrard Art Nouveau à Bruxelles. De l'architecture à l'ornementalisme
Editions Quo Vadis, 2005, ISBN 2-9600394-4-0

Anne Van Loo & Fabrice Van de Kerckove Henry Van de Velde, Récit de ma vie
Anvers-Bruxelles-Paris-Berlin I 1863-1900, Editions VersA Flammarion, 1992, ISBN 2-08-010907-3

Anne Van Loo & Fabrice Van de Kerckove Henry Van de Velde, Récit de ma vie
Berlin-Weimar-Paris-Bruxelles II 1900-1917, Editions VersA Flammarion, 1995, ISBN 2-08-010908-1

Guy Dessicy, Françoise Dierkens-Aubry, Bruno Fornari, Jos Vandendreeden, Marc Henricot, Linda Van Santvoort, & René Dalemans Paul Cauchie - Décorateur, Architecte, Peintre,
Editions Maison Cauchie, 1994

Françoise Aubry, Christine Bastin & Jacques Evrard Horta ou la passion de l'architecture
Editions Ludion, 2005, ISBN 90-5544-571-1

François Loyer, Paul Hankar La Naissance de l'Art Nouveau
Editions Archives d'Architecture Moderne, 1986, ISBN 2-87143-043-8

Mont des Arts 10-13
1000 Brussels
Phone: +32 (0) 2 432 83 18

Horta Museum
Rue Américaine 25
1060 Bruseels
Phone: +32 (0)2 543 04 90
Fax: +32 (0)2 538 76 31

Rue de l’Ermitage 55
1050 Brussels
Phone: + 32 (0)2 642 24 50


Art Nouveau in Brussels
La maison Autrique
Les Musées royaux d’Art et d’Histoire (MRAH) – De Koninklijke Musea voor Kunst en Geschiedenis (KMKG)
Archives d’Architecture Moderne
Sint-Lukasarchief vzw

Network News, Website Brussels

What is behind the Brussels Art Nouveau façades? Are there any original interiors? Is the interior decor as beautiful as the facade?
Designed to be viewed on all types of devices, Inside Art Nouveau will allow visitors, whether facing a building or installed comfortably behind their screen at home, to discover inaccessible Brussels Art Nouveau interiors to the general public thanks to documents as diverse as plans, photographs or old or contemporary postcards.

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This practical guide presents Horta’s buildings in chronological order, highlighting the architect’s stylistic evolution, from the ever-classical Matyn House to the Solvay, Van Eetvelde and Tassel houses or the Palace of Fine Arts. The book is not only a practical directory with a bookmark and a map, but also contains fascinating boxes that explore certain themes in greater depth.

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Exhibition, Network News Brussels

Fabric and wallpaper in Brussels houses Art Nouveau was a very significant period for the creation of wallpaper and fabrics. Inside Art Nouveau buildings, both Victor Horta and his contemporaries gave meaning to the concept of total art and revolutionised the applied arts, abolishing the hierarchy between different forms of plastic art. Original motifs, complex… Read more »

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Exhibition, Network News Brussels

Hôtel Aubecq is one of Victor Horta’s finest achievements, as regards both the built result and the relationship that the architect had with the client, Octave Aubecq, throughout the conception of the project. Aubecq was authoritarian and peremptory, Horta stubborn and clever: both men hit it off wonderfully! Hôtel Aubecq was sold in 1948 with… Read more »

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Exhibition, Network News Brussels

New horizons in Central Europe, 1914-1938 The end of WWI and the Austro-Hungarian Empire also meant the revival of major developments in the art world. Political and economic shifts led to artistic migrations, new ideas and perspectives and new artistic networks sprang up all over the place. Artists met up in arts centres and international… Read more »

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Network News Brussels

Collectors, yesterday and today: ART NOUVEAU AND JAPONISM The Horta Museum invites you on 4 June in the morning to its new conference “Collectors, yesterday and today: Art Nouveau and Japonism” organised as part of the Horta Museum’s triple exhibition “Collectors Collection”, presented until 30 June 2019. Free entry but compulsory registration at More… Read more »

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Event, Network News Brussels
07/10/2019 > 13/10/2019

Festival ARTONOV in Brussels

The ARTONOV Festival is back from October 7 to 13, 2019.The ARTONOV Festival has continued to grow in scale. Therefore, it proposes a whole week of international and Belgian interdisciplinary performances for a constantly growing audience. The ARTONOV Festival remains faithful to its vision: a sensory journey where the architectural space becomes the breath of art.… Read more »

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Event, Network News Brussels Affiche 2019 Artonov

The theme of this 5th edition is « The intuition of the gesture ». The gesture of an artist’s body movement is the starting point of the performance. They carry inside them the intuition of the entire work and its creative power. The body is the common denominator, an essential interdisciplinary element.

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Network News Brussels Belgian Art Nouveau : Vision, Design & Craft ©Belgian Art Nouveau Belge, Musée Horta

Promoted by the Horta Museum Editions, the collector Jonathan Mangelinckx and the art historian Borys Delobbe (UCLouvain), the series “Belgian Art Nouveau: Vision, Design & Craft” intends to renew our understanding of the different looks that have crossed in Belgium in the struggle for a new aesthetic in applied arts at the turn of the 19th century.

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Network News, Symposium Brussels

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the RANN,, founding member of RANN, is hosting an international symposium in Brussels, co-organised by RANN and in partnership with the Horta Museum and CIVA, on the theme “Interiors of the Art Nouveau period : analyse, restore, make accessible”.

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Visit, Worldwide News Bruxelles

Les estaminets bruxellois offrent des atmosphères très variées. Certains d’entre eux ont conservé leur décor Art nouveau ou Art déco. Leurs vitraux, leurs boiseries précieuses aux courbes élégantes et leurs comptoirs rutilants se souviennent de la Belle Époque, des années folles et jazzy. Ils témoignent de l’évolution des goûts : grands cafés lumineux, ouverts, animés… Read more »

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Exhibition, Network News Brussels View of the Matteoti room, Maison du Peuple ©Laboratoire Alice - La Cambre-Horta & Musée Horta

In a partnership bringing together the museological and academic worlds, the Museum has been working with the Laboratoire Alice at ULB’s La Cambre-Horta Faculty of Architecture, alongside professors Denis Derycke and Michel Provoost and their students. This collaboration, begun in 2015, will come to fruition in December 2019 with the unveiling of a partial 3D reconstruction of the Maison du Peuple.

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Conference, Worldwide News Bruxelles

Conférence par Jean Heyblom, historien et président du CHB Des architectes comme Victor Horta, Paul Hankar et bien d’autres ont fait de Bruxelles la ville d’Europe au patrimoine Art Nouveau le plus fourni et le plus diversifié. Ce sont les tenants et les aboutissants de ce courant architectural que vous allez découvrir dans cette conférence… Read more »

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Lecture, Network News Brussels Belgian Art Nouveau : Vision, Design & Craft ©Belgian Art Nouveau Belge, Musée Horta

On Saturday March 7, 2020 at 6 p.m., at the Brussels book fair, the Horta Museum editions are organising – following the release of the expected book “Belgian Art Nouveau: Towards the ideal” – a conference dedicated to Belgian Art Nouveau. Under the moderation of Borys Delobbe (UCLouvain), it will confront the three big Belgian names in Art Nouveau: Françoise Aubry (honorary curator of the Horta Museum), Werner Adriaenssens (curator at the Art & History Museum) and Anne Pluymaekers (director from the Culture pole of the European Center for Research and Training in the Glass Arts).

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Exhibition, Network News Brussels Fabric project, 1904. Brussels, private collection ©Mabell Syrett

The Horta Museum – Saint-Gilles unveils a new exhibition devoted to ornament. Entitled “The Art Nouveau ornament”, it presents a selection whose objective is to show a representative selection of the creations of major artists of European Art Nouveau such as William Morris, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Hector Guimard, Morris Denis and Josef Hoffmann.

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Exhibition, Network News Brussels Poster_exhibition_rassenfosse_APA_2020

Modesty is at the heart of Rassenfosse’s work, which explored all its facets, nuances and limits, with extraordinary consistency and continuity. This attitude makes him an artist out of time, entirely given over to a carnal passion, very controlled, subtle, showing himself to be full of restraint, as if to make it last, without wanting to exhaust it by the slightest excess.

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Exhibition, Network News Brussels
29/10/2021 > 09/01/2022

Micro-Museum at the Horta Museum

A new feature at the Horta Museum! At the end of your visit, you will soon be able to discover a micro-exhibition that will reveal a lesser-known aspect of the Museum. See you soon for the first MicroMuseum dedicated to the moulding and hardware collection site.

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