Walking Tour

Japanese influences in Art Nouveau

Eric Danhier ©

When Japan reopened its borders in 1854 after centuries of isolation, the Western art world immediately fell under its spell. Art dealer Samuel Bing set up the magazine Le Japon Artistique in 1888, describing Japanese art as an "art nouveau" (new art form).

Influenced by the Eastern vision of nature, two architectural viewpoints developed within the nascent Belgian Art Nouveau movement. On the one hand, the proponents of a total art conceived of a holistic architecture modelled on the significance of nature for humankind. Victor Horta's organic interiors, for example, plunge us into a world of their own.

On the other hand, there were architects like Hankar, who recognised that humans are only one of many elements in nature. This humility and modesty led them to shun any kind of excess in their architecture.

On this fascinating walking tour through the Louise/Louiza district, we will pass the houses of both Horta and Hankar as we explore the Japanese influence on Art Nouveau.

In cooperation with Korei Guided Tours.

Practical information

Sat. & Sun. at 10:00 and 14:00 (Dutch) (duration: 2 hours)

Starting point: in front of the Horta Museum, Rue Américaine/Amerikaansestraat 27 – Saint-Gilles/Sint-Gillis

Advance booking required. Up to 20 people per tour.