Victor Horta

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Victor Horta
BirthplaceGhent, Belgium

Horta, Victor

The leading architect in the Art Nouveau style (c. 1900). The Tassel House, Brussels (1892) was his first work in the Art Nouveau style. Both the L’Innovation department store (1901) and the Maison de Peuple (1899), Brussels (1901), had large metal and glass Art Nouveau facades (both now demolished).
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Horta, Victor


Born Jan. 6, 1861, in Ghent; died Sept. 8, 1947, in Brussels. Belgian architect.

Beginning in 1876, Horta attended the Academy of Arts in Ghent. In 1880 he enrolled at the Academy of Arts in Brussels, where he studied under A. Balat. He was a professor at the Free University in Brussels from 1892 to 1912, the Academy of Arts in Antwerp from 1919 to 1927, and the Academy of Arts in Brussels from 1912 to 1931. He was the director of the last institution from 1927 to 1931.

Horta was one of the earliest exponents of art nouveau. In his designs he strove to achieve the ideal of an integrated work of art. His structures, particularly his private dwellings, are characterized by a free plan, forms that imitate nature, plasticity of spatial composition (both of interiors and facades), extensive use of metal and glass, and, above all, the organic unity of all the structural components (down to the details of interior decoration). Horta revealed the decorative possibilities of metal and glass. In his interiors and, later, his facades, Horta used an abundance of floral ornament. He was the first to introduce supple, “whiplash” lines into the stylistics of art nouveau.

Horta’s most important works include the Hôtel Tassel (1892–93), the Hôtel Solvay (1895–1900), the Maison du Peuple (1896–99), and the Innovation Store (1901). All the above-mentioned buildings are in Brussels. Horta later turned to neoclassicism (Central Railway Station, Brussels).


Delevoy, R. L. Victor Horta. Brussels, 1958.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The same curly design will return in the architecture of Victor Horta (1861-1926).
It is housed on three floors of an art nouveau warehouse designed by Belgian architect Victor Horta. In typical Horta style, a glass ceiling allows sunlight to illuminate the museum's central atrium.
His major achievement in this field so far is an impressive book on the work of Victor Horta, the Belgian art nouveau architect who left such a lasting impression on the city of Brussels.
Also in Finland is Alvar Aalto's house and studio; in Brussels, Victor Horta's own house is art nouveau at its very best; in Moscow, there is Konstantin Melnikov's strange round house; and in Vienna, the summer house of Otto Wagner, which was preserved by the artist Ernst Fuchs.
It focuses on the architect of the Palais des Beaux Arts, Victor Horta, who created buildings that are the embodiment of art-nouveau architecture in Belgium.
Some, like Victor Horta in Brussels and Otto Wagner in Vienna, sought novelty by exploiting new building technologies.
In the 1950s, for instance, he met the elderly Henry van de Velde, the Belgian painter, architect and designer who, together with his compatriot Victor Horta, had helped create the art nouveau style.
An interactive display offers a virtual tour of this and other buildings since demolished, including Victor Horta's art nouveau masterpiece, the Hotel Aubecq.