Brussels Virtual Destination

Hôtel Hannon, In 1902 the engineer Edouard Hannon (1853 – 1931) called upon his friend, the architect Jules Brunfaut (1852 – 1942) to build this mansion, a masterpiece in the Art Nouveau style.

The Swiss painter Hans Ruedi Giger (1940 – 2014), once said that… I like elegance. I like art nouveau; a stretched line or curve… During our COVID 19 Days, we need the elegance of Art Nouveau Art… and stretched, curved lines to feel comfortable and cosy! The Belgian capital city Brussels is so much Art Nouveau in spirit! It’s an ideal travel destination for our 1st May Weekend! Stay in the comfort of your HOME! Snack on something deliciously BELGIAN! …and ACTION! in a Brussels Virtual Destination Tour!

The city of Brussels, capital of Belgium, is located in the heart of Europe, and serves as the de facto capital of the European Union, as it hosts a number of principal EU institutions. Do you know that the most common theory of the origin of the name Brussels is that it derives from the Old Dutch Bruocsella, Broekzele or Broeksel, meaning “home in the marsh”?

The Metropolitan Museum of Art short but a wonderful article that follows is an introduction to the Art Nouveau style in the arts…  https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/artn/hd_artn.htm

The spectacular glass cupola of Victor Horta’s Van Eetvelde House, 1895

…while the following article and the YouTube Videos introduce us to the Art Nouveau capital city of Europe… Brussels! https://theculturetrip.com/europe/belgium/articles/the-most-remarkable-art-nouveau-houses-in-brussels/

Movie Time in BRUSSELS …and ACTION!

King of the Belgians is a 2016 mockumentary comedy film produced, written and directed by Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth. While Nicolas III, King of the Belgians, is making an official visit to Istanbul, Wallonia declares its independence and so Belgium doesn’t exist any more… The hard trip back home becomes not only a desperate (and comical) travel across the Balkans but also an inner trip where Nicolas III tries to understand who he really is. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4818804/

Tintin and the Lake of Sharks is a 1972 French-Belgian animated adventure film based on The Adventures of Tintin, directed by Raymond Leblanc. It was not written by Hergé, but by the Belgian comics creator Greg (Michel Regnier), a friend of Hergé. It was later adapted into a comic book with still images from the film used as illustrations. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069383/

FOOD Brussels style

Belgian chocolate is supposedly the best in the world! For almost 400 years, Belgium has been producing delicious chocolate. The unique combination of the finest ingredients, exclusive production methods and stringent quality controls make Belgian chocolates a favourite worldwide. Today, Belgium counts approximately 2000 chocolate shops. Among them is the popular Brussels shop of a Chocolatier from Thessaloniki, Mina Apostolidis. http://www.minachocolate.com/moms-are-special/?fbclid=IwAR1wq0puPyd6l8TtINEsXOLJysgtvdnbfm8iGW6ynuB6OwovTMH5FW-mR6M

For the original Spring Break Virtual Destination document, please… click HERE!

A Tiffany Drawing and the final product!

Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company, 1892–1902
Design Drawing, ca. 1898–99, Watercolor and graphite on paper, 28.9 x 40.6  cm, the MET, NY
https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/17504
Louis Comfort Tiffany, 1848–1933
Bowl, 1898–1902, Enamel on Copper, 15.6 x 24.1 x 24.1 cm, the MET, NY https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/51.121.29/

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has in its American Wing’s Collection two items I particularly like. The first is a Watercolour Design Drawing by the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company illustrating a very special copper bowl belonging to Louis Comfort Tiffany’s private collection. The second item is the actual Enamel on Copper Tiffany Bowl, lushly decorated with plums among leaves in a very organic way, shimmering and glowing…

The MET “Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2005–2006”: The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, v. 64, no. 2 (Fall, 2006) page 53, Publication has the acquisition report of the Tiffany Design Drawing with a plethora of information. We learn, for example, that it presents a large enamel bowl in the Repoussé technique. The artist of the drawing used the Watercolour medium to better represent the luminosity of purple and green translucent enamels. We also learn, through notations, the formulas for the enamel colours used by the artists, and that ten days and 50 hours of work were required to make the piece. Two names written on the paper are of particular importance. “Munson” refers to Julia Manson, the lady in charge of the Tiffany enameling workshop and “Leslie Nash,” a later addition, a Tiffany production manager and original owner of the Drawing. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/metpublications/Recent_Acquisitions_A_Selection_2005_2006_The_Metropolitan_Museum_of_Art_Bulletin_v_64_no_2_Fall_2006

Iridescent Tiffany Enamels were particularly esteemed and in high demand. The large Enamel on Copper Bowl at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a rare and prized item to admire and study in order to realize high-quality craftsmanship. What I find astonishing is that the Tiffany enameling department was small, production was limited, and exclusively staffed by women artists. The first lady in charge was Patricia Gay, followed by Julia Munson, the artist of our Bowl-in-focus. As described by the sited MET publication, “The shape of the Bowl alludes to the plump, rounded form of the ripe plum. Fruit, leaves, and branches are rendered in repoussé in high relief, and the plums are so three-dimensional that they look almost as if they could be plucked off the bowl…” The MET Publication, pp.77-78, Louis Comfort Tiffany at The Metropolitan Museum of Art [adapted from The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, v. 56, no. 1 (Summer, 1998)] is a wonderful source of information for Tiffany and his accomplishments. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/metpublications/Louis_Comfort_Tiffany_at_the_Metropolitan_Museum_of_Art

For a Student Activity on Louis Comfort Tiffany, please… check HERE!

Repoussé: method of decorating metals in which parts of the design are raised in relief from the back or the inside of the article by means of hammers and punches; definition and detail can then be added from the front by chasing or engraving. The name repoussé is derived from the French pousser, “to push forward.” This ancient technique, which has been used extensively throughout the history of metalworking, achieved widespread popularity in Europe during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.

Reverence for Nature and Tiffany

Tiffany’s Incredible Hair Pin

Reverence for Nature and Tiffany is my latest BLOG Post. It is about an extraordinary Hair Ornament in the MET Collection portraying two Dragonflies and Dandelions. Created in 1904 for Louisine Havemeyer, a great collector of Impressionist Art and one of Tiffany’s most ardent patrons, the Metropolitan Museum Hair Pin is my favourite Art Nouveau piece of Jewelry. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/2046

When I think of Louis Comfort Tiffany, I think of nature’s power, its brittleness, yet joy. I think of radiance, luminosity and brilliance in colour. I think of superb craftsmanship… as exemplified in the MET’s Dragonfly and Dandelion Hair Ornament. According to Alice Cooney Frelinghuyse in the MET, the Hair Ornament “epitomizes his earliest jewelry designs, which were based directly on modest forms in nature, such as field flowers and wild fruit, as well as his affinity for enamelling and semiprecious stones with unusual colors. The dragonflies rest on dandelion seedballs, one of which is shown partially blown away, underscoring the fragility of nature. Highly skilled artisans conveyed the transparency of the insects’ wings through delicate metalwork filigree. The temporal quality is revealed in the subject: dragonflies rest in one place for mere seconds before flitting away; dandelions disperse into thousands of airborne seeds with the gentlest of breezes.” file:///C:/Users/aspil/Downloads/Recent_Acquisitions_A_Selection_2002_2003_The_Metropolitan_Museum_of_Art_Bulletin_v_61_no_2_Fall_2003%20(1).pdf

For a short PowerPoint on Louis Comfort Tiffany… click HERE!

A Grade 4 or 5 student Activity on Reverence for Nature and Tiffany is HERE!

https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/2002.620/