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HORTA, Victor HORTA biography by www.Senses-Artnouveau.com

Victor HORTA

(1861-1947)

Belgian art nouveau architect, decorator and designer


Victor Horta was one of the leading architect and designer of Art Nouveau and his style inspired many modernist artists all over Europe. He also influenced the aesthetic ideals the avant-garde group of artists in Belgium, such as "Les Vingt" and "La Libre Esthétique".

Victor Horta portrait

After studying drawing, textiles and architecture at the Fine Arts Academy in Gent, he established his own practice in Brussels and in 1893 he built the first Art Nouveau building, Tassel House.
In the late 1890s, he was commissioned by the Belgian Socialist movement to build the Maison du Peuple. In 1898, he built his own house and workshop, now the famous "Horta Museum".

At the turn of the century, Horta had become widely known and began designing various houses and buildings in Brussels, working for rich industrialists, as M. Solvay and political representatives, as M. Van Eetvelde.

He later designed the jewelry shop of Belgian art nouveau craftsman P. Wolfers, as well as other Department Stores, the Central Railway Station and the Palais des Beaux-Arts concert hall in 1920.

An Art Nouveau detail designed by Victor Horta
a stone detail by Victor Horta

Victor Horta was very influential in the birth of Belgian Art Nouveau Style, along with fellow architects Henri van de Velde, Paul Hankar and jeweler Philippe Wolfers. Inspired by nature, his style was swirling and linear, like the stems of plants. Tending towards unity, every material, surface, ornament, inside or outside, was harmoniously assembled with great fluidity and highly detailed by innovative shapes and lines. The houses are especially significant for their interior architecture: the irregularly shaped rooms open freely onto one another at different levels; the natural design of an iron balustrade is echoed in the curving decorative motifs of the mosaic floors or plaster walls.

The organic forms of Belgium Art Nouveau architecture as established by Victor Horta generated revolutionary ideas and marked the beginning of modern architecture and design. Plant-like forms and sensuous double curves,that would later be known as "the Belgian line", were adapted to every detail of the building from the main structure to whole interior decoration elements, as colored window glasses, lamps, wooden furniture, wrought-iron and metalwork, door handles and even the house bell. Very popular today, Horta's linear designs have inspired many modern silver and glass works, decorative objects and jewelry.

An Art Nouveau door detail by Victor Horta

The collections inspired by Victor Horta available at Senses Art Nouveau

see our selection of items related to
Belgian Art Nouveau architect, Victor Horta.



Major works with links :

- Hôtel Tassel, Rue P.E. Janson 6, Brussels, Belgium (1893);
- Maison Frison, Rue Lebeau 37, Brussels (1894);
- Hôtel Solvay, Avenue Louise 224, Brussels (1895-1900);
- La Maison du Peuple, Brussels (1896-1898) -demolished-
Hôtel Van Eetvelde, Avenue Palmerston 4, Brussels (1898);
- Maison Horta (now "Horta Museum"), Rue Américaine 23-25, Brussels (1898);
- Waucquez Department Store (now "Comic Strip Museum"), Rue des Sables 20, Brussels (1903);
Wolfers Building, Rue d'Aremberg 11-13, Brussels, (1909);
- Palais des Beaux-Arts, Rue Royale 10, Brussels, (1920).
- Images of most of Victor Horta façades in Brussels



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