Jean-Jacques Gailliard, Otlet House, on the corner of Rue de Florence and Rue de Livourne

Artist Jean-Jacques Gailliard drew Otlet House in 1962. The house was built between 1896 and 1898 in Art Nouveau style with some references to the Italian Renaissance.

Entrepreneur and documentarian Paul Otlet commissioned the design of the house from architect Octave Van Rysselberghe. Henry Van de Velde was responsible for the design of the decoration and furniture. The mansion was classified as a monument in 1984 and restored between 2001-2003.

As is often the case in the artist’s oeuvre, the drawing contains several references. In addition to his signature and the date, it also includes the street names, Swyncop’s studio, and the humorous line “Le chien de madame qui doit faire pipi (et moi aussi) va se faire écraser” (Madam’s dog who has to do pipi (just like me) is going to get crushed).

On the Rue de Livourne side (before 1914), as indicated on the drawing, was the studio of artist Philippe Swyncop and sculptress Ilse Twardowski-Conrat.

The artist
Jean-Jacques Gailliard (1890 – 1976) was a Brussels painter and graphic artist. He received his first drawing and painting lessons from his father, the impressionist painter Franz Gailliard , who produced very fine works about Brussels. During his childhood, Jean-Jacques Gailliard was surrounded by artists, musicians and figures from the world of esotericism and occultism.

Throughout his life, Gailliard produced figurative drawings and paintings of views of Brussels and Ostend, as well as portraits of artists and writers from his circle of acquaintances. His work can also be admired in other museums throughout Europe.

Why did we include this work in our collections?
• Jean-Jacques Gailliard came from an artistic family and the museum already holds several works by him but also by his father, Franz Gailliard. This piece enriches the collection once again.
• It is a very lively and humorous drawing.

Want to know more about this acquisition? You can find more details about the work itself in the inventory sheet here available.

Jean-Jacques Gailliard, Otlet House, on the corner of Rue de Florence and Rue de Livourne, 1962 ©Brussels City Museum