urban.brusselsArt nouveau

Brussels,

capital of Art Nouveau

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What to see and do

On the occasion of Art Nouveau Brussels 2023, Urban supports a broad range of activities in order to promote and further enhance Art Nouveau. Discover this exceptional cultural heritage throughout our capital.

Resources

Want to know more about this iconic artistic movement? Find out about Urban’s comprehensive documentation on the subject.

You can still take part in many activities over the coming months, including several exhibitions that are so successful that their run has been extended!

about art nouveau

Art Nouveau was born 130 years ago in Brussels when, in 1893, Victor Horta unveiled the Hôtel Tassel, a veritable manifesto of this new style. He made a name for himself with this building by introducing iron and cast iron into the town house which opened up the interior spaces, allowing air and light to circulate. At the time, Brussels was a crossroads for artistic and intellectual movements, and was experiencing a period of major urbanisation. Many Brussels architects and artists, such as Henry Van de Velde and Paul Hankar, would also adopt this style in their projects.

Art Nouveau reflects a desire to break away from past styles and develop art that embellishes everyday life. The movement quickly spread across Europe, becoming a fleeting trend that ended in 1910. Today, there are almost a thousand Art Nouveau buildings in the capital.

As part of its missions, Urban supports and finances a number of initiatives designed to showcase Art Nouveau. This meets one of Urban's objectives to protect the region's cultural heritage and guarantee its promotion, making the people of Brussels proud of their city, revealing the beauty that surrounds them and helping to pass this exceptional heritage on to future generations.

By setting up the Art Nouveau Brussels 2023 programme, in association with visit.brussels and other partners, Urban aims to showcase the wonders of our region to as many people as possible, affirm Brussels' place as the capital of Art Nouveau, and develop this feature over the longer term. This work is also intended to highlight more specific themes, stimulate debate and develop ideas on the links between Art Nouveau and the current challenges in architecture, urban regeneration and heritage management.