Henry van de Velde (1863-1957)

1 October 2013 13:59
Those who think of Art Nouveau, think of Henry van de Velde (1863-1957). As a painter, architect and designer, he strived for an all-encompassing unity between architecture and the applied arts. To honour his 150th birth year, Belgium specifically pays attention to this icon of the Art Nouveau movement during the Biënnale Art Nouveau and Art Déco.


Van de Velde was born on 3 april 1863 in Antwerp and he studied at the Antwerp Academy of Art. After visiting Paris, where he became inspired by the work of Manet and Seurat among others, he started working on a new art movement, Art Nouveau, at home in Belgium. Besides, at the end of the 19th century, he came in contact with the English Arts and Crafts movement. He felt strongly attracted to this group of artists who abhorred factory production and instead strived for decorative art based on nature, folklore and romance. Shortly afterwards, he decided to focus on applied arts and designed his first Gesamtkunstwerk: an all-consuming unity between architecture and applied arts in which the artist does not just design the house, but also the furniture, carpets, lighting and decorations.

Biënnale Art Nouveau and Art Déco 2013

Brussels was once home to over five thousand Art Nouveau buildings. Sadly, less than five hundred exist today. Many of these extraordinary houses are gesamtkunstwerken and are magnificent to say the least. Only in October weekends of uneven numbered years, around one hundred of these unique buildings can be admired from the inside. This can be done during the Biënnale Art Nouveau and Art Déco and this year it pays particular attention to Henry van de Velde. Wavy lines in woodcarvings, curly cast iron, thinly cut glass and balanced, elegant figures in carpets and wall paintings in nice Art Nouveau homes will take the breath of many Art Nouveau lovers away. Remarkable constructions by Van de Velde can also be seen during the Biënnale Art Nouveau and Art Deco 2013 in Brussels.

Art Nouveau at Art Deco Web Store

Art Deco Web Store is the perfect address for Art Nouveau and Art Deco applied arts. Artistic pieces of furniture, gifts and decorations, home furnishings, jewellery and lighting that leave a mark on the interior. Whether the item is Art Nouveau wallpaper with romantic and natural motifs, an impressive Art Deco armchair, fabulous Art Nouveau lighting, tin Jugendstil candlesticks in the shape of the female figure, geometrical shapes in Art Deco carpets: the exclusive, sometimes eccentric, but always artistic home furnishings in the Art Nouveau and Art Deco style can be ordered online at artdecowebstore.com. Or come visit our showroom to view these styles up-close and feel the atmosphere they emanate. Go to ‘contact us’ to view the opening hours.

Picture:© Fonds Henry van de Velde, ENSAV-La Cambre