Adolphe Stoclet

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Adolphe Stoclet (1871-1949) was a Belgian engineer and financier. Today, however, he is most famous as the man who commissioned the Palais Stoclet, a mansion in Brussels, Belgium, between 1907 and 1911.

Life[edit]

Stoclet was born into a family of Belgian bankers. His wife, Suzanne, was a niece of the painter Alfred Stevens, and daughter of the art historian Alfred Stevens. They had two sons, xx b. xx and Jacques b. 1906, and one daughter, Annie, b. 1908. Stoclet was described by contemporaries as charming, but somewhat pompous, and had a large beard said to resemble that of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal.

Stoclet became a civil engineer for railroads. The death of his father forced Stoclet to take over the direction of the Société Générale de Belgique, which for many years was one of the largest companies in Belgium and owned about forty different enterprises, including banks, weapons production, mines in the Belgian Congo, and others. Banque d'Outremer, an affiliate company to the Société Générale de Banque had its office, rue de Brederode built in 1910 by architect Josef Hoffmann.

While in Vienna to oversee the construction of a railroad, Stoclet met one of the masters of the Vienna Secession (and later, the Wiener Werkstätte), the architect Josef Hoffmann. Stoclet shared Hoffmann's avant-garde artistic inclinations, and commissioned the latter to build him his own villa. While Stoclet initially considered building the house in Vienna, eventually he settled on a site in Brussels. The architect received not only artistic license for the design, but also an unlimited budget. Hoffmann left much of the interior decoration for the Palais Stoclet to the painter Gustav Klimt and the artist Fernand Khnopff. Madame Stoclet apparently coordinated the colors of the flowers in the vases with the ties Stoclet wore.

The Palais Stoclet is situated at 279-81 avenue de Tervuren in Brussels. Stoclet resided there until his death in 1949, leaving it to his heirs, who currently occupy the property.