Cauchie House sgraffito panel
Gain an in-depth understanding of the Art Nouveau style of architecture, furniture and decorative arts in Brussels and Antwerp, where it enjoyed its first flowering in the 1890s
See how the style developed, from Victor Horta’s early Autrique House to his magnificent Van Eetvelde and Solvay mansions
Enjoy privileged guided tours of the interiors of Art Nouveau buildings not regularly open to the public
“Christopher obviously has a deep knowledge of the subject and was able to put it into a wider context."
- ACE customer on a previous tour led by Christopher Bourne
The Art Nouveau movement started as a protest by young designers against the revivalist styles of the 19th century, and developed into a distinctive style of architecture and applied arts that, briefly, was all the rage in Europe, before being swept away by the First World War.
Inspired by writers including Wilde, Proust and Huysmans, and by art movements including Symbolism, Japonisme and Arts & Crafts, the movement was financed by ‘Nouveau Riche’ industrialists. Young designers made the most of technological advances to create the dazzlingly opulent style that still astonishes us today.
In addition to exploring the exterior characteristics of Art Nouveau architecture, our tour will also feature special access to the interiors of buildings including the exceptional Van Eetvelde and Max Hallet houses by Victor Horta. We will also gain an in-depth understanding of the style through a visit to the Fin-de-Siècle Museum, part of the Royal Museums of the Fine Arts of Belgium. The Winter Garden at St Ursula’s School, with its magnificent stained glass and original furniture, will be a further highlight.
We will also see how Art Nouveau was superseded by the more austere, streamlined Art Deco style after 1914, exploring exceptional examples of early Art Deco architecture, influenced by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Frank Lloyd Wright.
We will stay throughout in the heart of Brussels at the four-star Hotel Le Plaza, a welcoming establishment known for its elegant and traditional atmosphere. It is conveniently located for our visits in a lively part of the city, close to a good variety of local restaurants.
This tour will be led by Christopher Bourne, BA. Christopher read History and French at the University of Manchester, and lived in Brussels for 15 years, where he acquired an in-depth knowledge of the city’s architectural, artistic and cultural history. An experienced tour leader, Christopher has been guiding groups on art and architectural history tours in the UK and Belgium for over 20 years. An expert in the Art Nouveau, Arts & Crafts movement, Viennese Secession and Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, he is now based in Birmingham, and is a member of the Victorian Society, William Morris Society and the 20th Century Society.
Included: return travel, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, five breakfasts, four lunches (two light), three dinners with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities & all taxes.
Not Included: travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £345.