Houses in the Market Place, Brussels

H. W. Brewer

c. 1880

Signed lower left

Source: Stevenson’s House Architecture, Fig. 91

“In Belgium the influence of its Spanish rulers gave greater surnptousness and magnificence to architecture and the decorative arts ; for the Spaniards, in those days, had amongst them artists as great as any in Europe, and they had lordly tastes. Under Spanish influence and to the order of Spaniards the most splended stampt-leather, the richest metal work, the most magnificent stained glass were executed.

“The group of houses in the Market Place, Brussels, shows this Spanish influence. They exhibit, in a degree rarely attained, the qualities of richness and sumptuousness. There is a playfulness about them which is very charming. Every house has a character of its own. That built by some admiral, with its gable like the stern of his ship, is specially picturesque and interesting. Great artistic skill is needed, when houses are mere tall narrow strips like these, to give them any artistic effect. We give up the attempt and make our houses by the foot run, and cut them off in lengths as required” (283).

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