Van Der Velde, Henry (1863-1957) by Scholes, Robert

Henry Van Der Velde (1863 – 1957) He was born in Antwerp and started his studies there at the Académie des Beaux-Arts, but in 1884 he moved to Paris. There he became a part of the circle of both the symbolist and the Impressionist painters. Returning to Belgium he developed the ideas he had adopted in Paris, but having been part of the avant-garde Les Vingt group in Brussels he decided to abandon painting and concentrate on applied art and on architecture. By the end of the 1890’s he had become well known both as a designer and for his buildings. It was his friendship with the German print publisher and critic Meier-Graefe which led to his commission for the Tropon poster, now one of his single most famous works and an icon of Art Nouveau style. In 1902 he founded a School of Arts and Crafts in Weimar, which became the Bauhaus in 1919. He is remembered mainly as an architect and designer, though he worked in other media as well.

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