L'Art Moderne

L'Art Moderne was a weekly review of the arts and literature published in Brussels from March 1881 until the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914. It was established by a number of lawyers based in Brussels who felt the need for a regular overview of the cultural life of the capital.[1] The leading figures in the founding group were Edmond Picard and Octave Maus.[2] The poet and art critic Émile Verhaeren (also a lawyer) soon became a frequent contributor.

L'Art moderne: Revue critique des arts et de la littérature
Front page of the first issue
First issue6 March 1881 (1881-03-06)
Final issue9 August 1914 (1914-08-09)
Based inBrussels

Each issue was eight pages long, and reviews were unsigned.[1] Initially the review's editorial line opposed "Art for art's sake" (promoted by the rival La Jeune Belgique) under the alternative slogan l'art social ("social art"), insisting that art should serve progressive social and political purposes. This stance was later softened. Despite the differences in editorial emphasis, several contributors wrote for both reviews.

L'Art Moderne was closely involved in promoting two fin de siècle Belgian art movements, Les XX and La Libre Esthétique.[2]


  1. René Fayt. "Résumé". Périodiques numérisés dans le cadre de l'Action de Recherche Concertée. Université libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Jane Block, "Les XX and La Libre Esthétique", in Impressionism to Symbolism: The Belgian Avant-Garde, 1880-1900, edited by MaryAnne Stevens with Robert Hoozee (Royal Academy of Arts, London, in association with Ludion Press, Ghent, 1994), p. 41.
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