Victor Horta


Victor Horta

Infobox Architect



name=Victor Horta
nationality=Belgium,
birth_date=6 January 1861
birth_place=Ghent, Belgium
death_date=8 September 1947
death_place=Brussels, Belgium
practice_name=
significant_buildings=Hôtel Tassel
House and Studio Victor Horta
Hôtel van Eetvelde
Hôtel Solvay
Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels
significant_projects=Brussels-Central railway station
awards= Titled "Baron" by King Albert I of Belgium

Victor, Baron Horta (January 6 1861 - September 9 1947) was a Belgian architect and designer. John Julius Norwich described him as "undoubtedly the key European Art Nouveau architect." Indeed, Horta is one of the most important names in Art Nouveau architecture; the construction of his Hôtel Tassel in Brussels in 1892-3 means that he is sometimes credited as the first to introduce the style to architecture from the decorative arts. The French architect Hector Guimard was deeply influenced by Horta and further spread the "whiplash" style in France and abroad.

Life and career

Born in Ghent, he was first attracted to the architectural profession when he helped his uncle on a building site at the age of twelve. He studied in Ghent, but left to become an interior designer living in Montmartre in Paris. There, he was inspired by the emerging impressionist and pointillist artists, and also by the possibilities of working in iron and glass.

When Horta's father died in 1880, he returned to Belgium and moved to Brussels, to study at the academy of fine arts. He married, and fathered two daughters.

In Brussels, Horta built a friendship with Paul Hankar, later also to embrace Art Nouveau. Horta did well in his studies, and was taken on as an assistant by his professor Alphonse Balat, architect to Leopold II of Belgium. Together, they designed the royal Greenhouses of Laeken, Horta's first work to utilise glass and iron.

By 1885, Horta was working on his own, and designed three houses which were built that year. He then decided to avoid residential work for wealthy clients and instead devoted himself to competitions for public work, including statuary and even tombs. He focused on the curvature of his designs, believing that the forms he produced were highly practical and not artistic affectations. After introducing Art Nouveau in an exhibition held in 1892, Horta was inspired. Commissioned to design a home for professor Tassel, he transfused the recent influences into Hôtel Tassel, completed in 1893. Incorporating interior iron structure with curvilinear botanical forms, which was known as “biomorphic whiplash,” and successfully created the first Art Nouveau architecture. Ornate and elaborate designs and natural lighting were concealed behind a stone façade to harmonize the building with the more rigid houses next door. [' [http://jeannierenee.com Jeannie Bastian] '. " [http://jeannierenee.com/Horta.html The House that Horta Built] ". Accessed January 05 2007.]

During this period, Horta socialised widely and joined the freemasons, he was a member of the lodge "Les Amis Philanthropes" of the Grand Orient of Belgium in Brussels. This ensured a stream of clients when he returned to designing housing and shops from 1893.After receiving great notoriety for his designs, Horta was commissioned to complete many other important buildings throughout Brussels. Enhancing this new architectural style, Horta designed the Hôtel Solvay (1895–1900) and his own residence (1898) employing iron and stone façade with elaborate iron interiors.

After Art Nouveau lost favor, many of Horta's buildings were destroyed, most notably the Maison du Peuple (1895-1899) built for the progressive political party, the Belgian Labour Party and demolished in 1965. However, several of Horta’s buildings are still standing in Brussels to today and available to tour. Most notably are the Magasins Waucquez, formerly a department store, now the Brussels Comic Book Museum and four of his private houses ("hôtels"), which were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site:
*Hôtel Tassel, designed and built for Prof. Émile Tassel in 1892 - 1893.
*Hôtel Solvay, designed and built 1895 - 1900.
*Hôtel van Eetvelde, designed and built 1895 - 1898.
*Maison and Atelier Horta, designed in 1898, now the Horta Museum, dedicated to his work.

List of Works

*1889 : Temple of Human Passions, Cinquantenaire Park in Brussels (protected monument since 1976)
*1890 : Maison Matyn, rue Bordeauxstraat 50, 1060 Saint-Gilles
*1890 : Renovations and interior decoration to the Brussels residence of Henri van Cutsem, Kunstlaan / Avenue des Arts 16, Sint-Joost-ten-Node (Today Charlier museum).
*1892-1893 : Hôtel Tassel, rue Paul-Emile Jansonstraat 6 in Brussels
*1893 : Maison Autrique, Haachtsesteenweg/Chaussée de Haecht 266 in Schaarbeek
*1894 : Hôtel Winssinger, Munthofstraat / rue de l'hotel du Monnaie 66 in Saint-Gilles
*1894 : Hôtel Frison, rue Lebeaustraat 37 in Brussels
*1894 : Atelier for Godefroid Devreese, Vleugelstraat / rue de l'aile 71 in Schaerbeek (modified)
*1894 : Hôtel Solvay, Avenue Louise / Louizalaan 224 in Brussels.
*1895 : Interior decoration of the house of Anna Boch, Boulevard du Toison d'Or / Guldenvlieslaan 78 in Saint-Gilles (demolished)
*1895-1898 : Hôtel van Eetvelde, Avenue Palmerstonlaan 2/6 in Brussels
*1896-1898 : Maison du Peuple / Volkshuis, place Vanderveldeplein in Brussels (demolished in 1965)
*1897-1899 : Kindergarten, rue Sainte-Ghislaine / Sint-Gisleinstraat 40 in Brussels
*1898-1900 : House and Studio of Victor Horta, rue américaine / Amerikaansestraat 23-25 in Saint-Gilles (today the Horta Museum ).
*1899 : Maison Frison "Les Épinglettes", Ringlaan 70 in Uccle
*1899 : Hôtel Aubecq, Avenue Louise / Louizalaan 520 in Brussels (demolished in 1950)
*1899-1903: Villa Carpentier (Les Platanes), Doorniksesteenweg 9-11 in Ronse
*1900 : Extension of the Maison Furnémont, rue Gatti de Gamondstraat 149 in Uccle
*1900 : Department store: A l'Innovation, rue Neuve / Nieuwstraat 111 in Brussels (destroyed by fire in 1967)
*1901 : House and Studio for the sculptor Fernant Dubois, Avenue Brugmannlaan 80 in Vorst
*1901 : House and Studio for the sculptor Pieter-Jan Braecke, rue de l'Abdication / Troonafstandstraat 51 in Brussels
*1902 : Hôtel Max Hallet, Avenue Louise / Louizalaan 346 in Brussels.
*1903 : Funeral monument for the composer Johannes Brahms on the "Zentralfriedhof" in Vienna (in collaboration with the sculptor Ilse Conrat)
*1903 : Magasins Waucquez, rue du Sable / Zandstraat 20 in Brussels (since 1989 Belgian Centre for Comic Strip Art.
*1903 : House for the art critic Sander Pierron, rue de l'Acqueduc / Waterleidingsstraat 157 in Elsene
*1903 : Grand Bazar Anspach, Bisschopsstraat / rue de l'Evêque 66 in Brussels (demolished)
*1903 : Maison Emile Vinck, rue de Washingtonstraat 85, Elsene (converted in 1927 by architect A.Blomme).
*1903 : Department store: A l'Innovation, Elsenesteenweg 63-65 in Elsene (converted)
*1904 : Gym for the boarding school "Les Peupliers" in Vilvoorde.
*1905 : Villa Fernand Dubois, rue Maredretstraat, Sosoye.
*1906 : Bruggemann Hospital, Place Van Gehuchtplein in Jette; (First design; opened in 1923)
*1907 : Magasins Hicklet, Nieuwstraat / rue Neuve 20 in Brussels (converted)
*1909 : Wolfers Jewellers Shop, rue d'Arenberg / Arenbergstraat 11-13 in Brussels.
*1910 : House for dr. Terwagne, Van Rijkswijcklaan 62, Antwerp.
*1911 : Magasins Absalon, rue Saint-Christophe / Sint-Kristoffelstraat 41 in Brussels
*1911 : Maison Wiener, Sterrekundelaan / avenue de l'Astronomie in Sint-Joost-ten-Node (demolished)
*1912 : Brussels-Central railway station (first designs; completed by Maxime Brunfaut and inaugurated in 1952).
*1920 : Centre for Fine Arts, rue Ravensteinstraat in Brussels (first deign; opened in 1928).
*1925 : Belgian pavilion at the "Exposition des Arts décoratifs et industriels modernes" in Paris in 1925.
*1928 : Musée des Beaux-Arts Tournai in Tournai.

Victor Horta was interred in the Ixelles Cemetery in Brussels.

References

*Françoise Aubry and Jos Vandenbreeden, "Horta, Art Nouveau to Modernism", Ludion Press Ghent - Harry N. Abrams Publishers New York, 1996.

*reflist

External links

* [http://www.hortamuseum.be Hortamuseum Brussel]
* [http://www.greatbuildings.com/architects/Victor_Horta.html Victor Horta]
* [http://www.hortamuseum.be Horta Museum]
* [http://www.cupola.com/html/bldgstru/artnouv/artnouv1.htm Cupola's Art Nouveau Architecture Gallery One ] at www.cupola.com


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