The new Musée Fin-de-Siècle Museum presents Brussels as the cultural crossroads of Europe at the turn of the century. This exceptional collection of works by Belgian artists such as James Ensor, Fernand Khnopff, Léon Spilliaert, Victor Horta, Henry Van de Velde or Philippe Wolfers,… and by foreign artists such as Paul Gauguin, Auguste Rodin, Pierre Bonnard, Emile Gallé, Louis Majorelle and Alphonse Mucha,… places the art scene at the heart of international creativity.
With the organization of the salons of Les XX (1883-1894) and La Libre Esthétique (1894–1914), in the very rooms of this museum, Brussels became a unique hub for creative work. It didn’t identify itself with the Impressionist wave but found in the conjunction of Symbolism, the Wagnerian movement and Art Nouveau the emblems of an identity that did, to a great extent, shape the face of the city. “Brussels, capital of Art Nouveau” is not just a matter of architecture. The term refers in the first place to the dynamism of a society. And this society made its mark in every art discipline: literature, painting, opera, music, architecture, photography, and poetry; and through the works of Maurice Maeterlinck, Emile Verhaeren, Jean Delville, Henri Evenepoel, Constantin Meunier, Maurice Kufferath, and Guillaume Lekeu, to name a few.