The Cauchie house (French: Maison Cauchie, Dutch: Cauchiehuis) was built in 1905 by Art Nouveau architect, painter and designer Paul Cauchie, in Etterbeek, Brussels, next of the Cinquantenaire. Its façade is remarkable for its allegorical sgraffiti.
Paul Cauchie was sixteen when he began his architectural studies at the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts (in the classes of Joseph Schadde and Léonard Blomme). Very soon afterwards he enrolled at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts (in the class of Constant Montald), where he studied painting (as a pupil of Jean Portaels) and the sgraffito technique, and followed courses in decorative painting (1893–1898). From 1895, whilst still pursuing his studies, Paul Cauchie started to work for his living. Apart from his own house, only three houses built by Cauchie are known: two others in Brussels and one at Duinbergen. As Cauchie was more of a decorator than an architect, he specialised in designing sgraffiti for architecture.
Cauchie met his future wife in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Carolina ‘Lina’ Voet achieved a very good level in painting, enabling her to teach drawing and painting privately.
They married in 1905 and decided to build a house on the 6 metres (20 ft)-wide plot of land Cauchie bought next to the Cinquantenaire Park. He designed the front of the house with the intention of advertising and selling their work: sgraffiti for him and art teaching for her. As the house was easily seen from the neighboring roads, it drew the attention of passers-by and demonstrated their know-how.
At the very centre of the façade, Cauchie drew the words “Par Nous — Pour Nous” (English: By Us — For Us). The house was designed, from the very beginning, as a joint work intended for private use. Cauchie did the drawings for the house but worked together with his wife to design and decorate their home-workshop. Cauchie and his wife filled the house with their multiple works of art (paintings, wall coverings, furniture,…)
The Cauchie house is a good example of the application of the principle of “total art” in architecture. Cauchie and his wife wanted that the distinction between the main art forms (architecture, painting, sculpture) and the minor art forms (decorative arts) disappeared to became part of the global œuvr.
Sgraffito (plural: sgraffiti; sometimes spelt scraffito) is a technique either of wall decor, produced by applying layers of plaster tinted in contrasting colors to a moistened surface, or in ceramics, by applying to an unfired ceramic body two successive layers of contrasting slip, and then in either case scratching so as to produce an outline drawing.
Sgraffito and sgraffiti come from the Italian word sgraffiare (“to scratch”), ultimately from the Greek γράφειν (gráphein) “to write”. Related terms include graffito and graffiti. In modern English speaking languages, ‘graffiti’ is generally used. wiki
Paul Cauchie自宅 1905