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100 Francs 1990, Belgium

in Krause book Number: 140a
Years of issue: 1990
Edition:
Signatures: De Schatbewaarder: Jacques van Droogenbroeck (in office 03.08.1989 - 28.02.1992), De Gouverneur: Alfons Verplaetse (in office 03.07.1989 - 28.02.1999)
Serie: 1978 - 1981 Issue
Specimen of: 05.04.1978
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 141 х 75
Printer: Belgian Nationalbank, Brussels

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

100 Francs 1990

Description

Watermark:

Baudouin watermark

HM The King Baudouin I in 1/2 profile.

Baudouin (Dutch: Boudewijn; 7 September 1930 – 31 July 1993) reigned as the fifth King of the Belgians, following his father's abdication, from 1951 until his death in 1993. He was the last Belgian king to be sovereign of Congo.

He was the elder son of King Leopold III (1901–83) and his first wife, Princess Astrid of Sweden (1905–35). Because he had no children with his wife, Fabiola de Mora, the crown passed to his younger brother, Albert II (formerly Prince of Liège), following his death.

Avers:

100 Francs 1990

Hendrik Beyaert (Dutch) or Henri Beyaert (French) (29 July 1823 in Kortrijk, Belgium – 22 January 1894 in Brussels) was a Belgian architect.

Hendrik Beyaert was of very humble descent. For this reason he had to earn his living from a very young age onwards. Initially he and his family couldn't afford to finance higher studies. At age 19, Hendrik Beyaert worked as a bank employee at the National Bank of Belgium's office in Kortrijk. He found his profession not very indulging and decided to quit the bank. As he had always been fascinated by architecture he found a post as an apprentice stonemason on the building site of the new railway station of Tournai, a building that would be replaced decades later by a design of Hendrik Beyeart himself.

In 1842 the young man went to Brussels where he kept a small bookshop to earn his living and where he enrolled at the Académie to attend the architecture courses. In the following year he met the architect Félix Janlet who believed in the young Beyaert's exceptional qualities and who offered him a job in his office. Due to this job and to a small scholarship granted to him by his native city Kortrijk, Beyaert could finish his architectures studies at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts which he completed in 1846. At the Académie he studied with Tilman-François Suys by whom he was largely influenced during the first years of his career as an independent architect. Beyaert gradually moved away from the neo-classical style if his master and began to experiment with a neo-Louis XVI style in the mansions he built along the Brussels Avenue des Arts and Chaussée de Charleroi.

His first public commission was the head-office of his former employer, the "Banque Nationale de Belgique". This cooperation with the architect Wynand Janssens resulted in a lavish neo-baroque building heavily influenced by the new style propagated in Paris, known as Second Empire. The critical success that it enjoyed, together with Beyaert’s connections with the powerful Liberal Party, led to many other commissions, beginning with the De Brouckère fountain (1866), now on the Square Jan Palfijn, Laeken. Other major works followed in rapid succession. In his major renovation projects of medieval buildings, such as the "Hallepoort" (or "Porte de Hal", a vestige of the medieval fortifications of Brussels) he was influenced by the French architect and theoretician Viollet-le-Duc. This realisation played an important role in Beyaert's architectural development for it made him aware of the importance and beauty of the local architectural styles from the late middle-ages and the early renaissance. Beyaert's style largely shifted to the so-called "Flemish Renaissance Revival" which partly under his influence would become a very popular "National" style in the last quarter of the 19th century. Other works included the Antwerp Office of the National Bank of Belgium building (1874-1879), built on a clever triangular plan, the Tournai Railway Station (1875-1879, damaged in WWII), and the Kegeljan-Godin house (1878–1880) in Namur. All had a similar, vaguely Flemish Renaissance or Baroque Revival flavour. In 1876 however, Beyaert publicly denied being a partisan of the nascent Flemish Renaissance Revival movement in Belgium, although the proponents of this movement had wished to align his creations to their own.

With his passion for study and novelties - Beyaert possessed an extensive library on the history of architecture and the decorative arts - his buildings became more and more charged with historical ornamentation without however lacking a clear structural basis. In an architecture contest following the covering of the Zenne, Beyaert's "Maison des Chats/Kattenhuis" took first prize. It was built along the new central boulevard in Brussels and showed clear affinities with the famous Guild Houses at the nearby Brussels Grand Place. Beyaert also designed a number of country houses, including the "Romantic" Château de Faulx-les-Tombes near Namur (1872) which was highly influenced by Viollet-le-Duc's restoration of the Château de Pierrefonds, and the Neo Flemish Renaissance, Castle of Wespelaar (1881–87) in the province of Brabant. Although he had been interested in urban planning since the early 1860s, he could only realise one of his urban design projects: the Petit Sablon Square (1880) in Brussels. It consists of a small park on a trapezium-shaped site, surrounded by a wrought-iron fence of inventive design. His final realisation, crowning an impressive architectural career, is the Ministry of Railways, Post, Telegraph and Navy in Brussels. This project shows Beyaerts ability to cope with a rich ornamentation without attacking the structural integrity of the building. While certainly revivalist in character, his strongly geometric architecture imitated only the spirit and seldom the details of historical models. His own details were highly original. They were part of an architecture of space and structure rather than of mere decorative appearance. In this respect Beyaert would become instrumental in the formation of a new generation of architects, such as Paul Hankar and Victor Horta, that would play an important part in the evolution of Art Nouveau architecture.

He became a member of the Royal Academy of Science, Letters and Fine Arts of Belgium in 1888.

National Bank National Bank

On background (top) - Nationale Bank building, as seen from Mechelsesteenweg (also located at Bourlastraat corner with Frankrijklei 164-166), in Antwerpen.

The stunningly beautiful building of the National Bank of Belgium was built in 1877, designed by Hendrik Beaard in the style of the French New Renaissance. Nearby is the main boutique street of Antwerp - Meir.

National Bank

On background (at the bottom) - The facade of the hotel building of the National Bank (now the National Bank Museum) in Brussels. Late XIX century.

Before looking at the Bank’s oldest façade in detail, a few more words on the Hôtel of the Governor itself. The Old French word, “hôtel” has been used since the XVIII century to signify the urban residence, temporary or permanent, of a person of high rank, in this case the Governor of the National Bank of Belgium. The statutes of the Bank stipulated that the Governor should live in the capital; in return, the Bank was to be responsible for the cost of furnishing and maintaining his town residence.

After a brief spell in a rented building on the Montagne aux Herbes Potagères, followed by a slightly longer stay in a Hôtel bought by the Bank on the rue Royale, work on the present site on the rue du Bois Sauvage began at the end of 1860. The Bank decided to move into the building in two stages: in 1865 the banking and administrative services moved in and two years later they were joined by the Governor, together with his family.

The long tradition of residence at the Hôtel finally came to an end in 1957. It is true to say that not all Governors found the building equally well suited to family life. Certain Governors preferred to spend their free time at their own homes. Not that the Hôtel has remained empty and abandoned since 1957, however. It remains the Bank’s official residence, and used for official functions and receptions.

architect Hendrik BeyaertThe Bank held a competition for the commission among a small number of architects. February 1860, the Board decided to award the commission to the Belgian architects Hendrik Beyaert (Kortrijk, 1823 – Brussels, 1894) and Wynand Janssens (1827-1913). The influence of the “classicising” spirit of the Parisian Ecole des Beaux-Arts can be seen in the strictly symmetrical composition of the street front. But Beyaert is also one of the leading figures of Belgian eclecticism. This movement with its deliberate recycling of historical architectural elements, and its equally deliberate stylistic borrowings and mixings was in vogue in the West from the 1860s to the 1920s.

When, in 1859, the National Bank acquired a group of buildings on the rue du Bois Sauvage the city of Brussels badly needed to redevelop in response to changing demographic factors and the new imperatives of planning and hygiene. The site chosen for the Bank, halfway between the commercially developing districts and the centre of political power, exactly reflects its position both as a rapidly-expanding enterprise and an instrument of the state designed to underpin the economic and financial development of the nation.

In eclectic architecture, the choice of the most “appropriate” style depended on the historical allusions or moral virtues which the building was supposed to convey. Bank architecture, whose flowering coincided with that of the eclectic movement, tended to invoke the late Middle Ages, or the Italian Renaissance, periods when bankers such as the Florentine de Medici rose to rank alongside princes in the social and political order. Athough Italian references are not present in the Hôtel’s façade, it seeks, like almost any other bank building, to invoke images of security, confidence and power.

Most of the structure is conceived in load-bearing brick or stone masonry. The street façades, and the public and private entrance halls are faced in white stone. The façade on the rue du Bois Sauvage clearly bows to the supremacy of the Fine Arts in its use of symmetrical jetties and its respect for the sacred canons of classical proportion, such as the “golden section”. For the rich ornamentation Beyaert was largely borrowing from the classical vocabulary of the Fine Arts: festoons, rosettes or palmettes. Through his conception of the Hôtel he emerges as one of the most remarkable exponents of the Second Empire architecture and decoration, with its characteristically opulent blend of gold and rich colour. Everything from the tiniest details of tables, sideboards, pokers… was conceived and elaborated by Beyaert.

The Hôtel’s façade is stictly symmetrical in composition, extending between two jetties surmounted by pediments. It is enlivened by the introduction of caryatids – female statutes acting as columns and appearing to support the pediments. These four caryatids symbolise Commerce, Industry, Agriculture and Fine Arts, “the principal sources of public prosperity” according to the decorative programme presented by the architects to Governor de Haussy in May 1863. The caryatids as well as several other decorative elements were not included in the initial plan. The allegories of Commerce and Industry above the Governor’s private entrance, nowadays also the entrance to the Museum, are sculpted by the sculptor, medallist and engraver Léopold Wiener (Venlo (Nl), 1823 – Brussels, 1891). The ones above the former public entrance are executed by the sculptor Egide Mélot (Antwerp, 1817 – Schaarbeek, 1885). Later on in his career E. Mélot was also engaged in the decoration of, amongst others, the Brussels Stock Exchange and the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. The seven bays between the two jetties are surmounted by the arms of the particular province; in the place of honour (over the windows on the jetties), beneath the royal cipher, are the escutcheons of Brabant and Antwerp, the provinces in which the Bank had its main branches. Between the windows, in the upper band, run cartouches illustrating moral and economic themes with trophies dedicated to justice, military glory, textiles, mining, metallurgy and navigation. Some of these themes, like navigation and justice, can also be found in the panelling of the general assembly room.

sculptureThe pediments also form a double composition dedicated to the glory of the national economy. The sculpture surmounting the entrance to the Hôtel is organised around a representation of a hive, symbolising a busy, hard-working community, flanked by a locomotive and a dynamo, images of the most recent and brilliant flowerings of native Belgian genius. The hive, in combination with a cornucopia, reappears in the ceiling decoration of the governor’s office. The second pediment employs maritime imagery with a ship’s prow and references to Belgium’s chief maritime and river ports – Antwerp, Ostend, Ghent and Liège. The pediments are each topped by female allegories of Peace and Work. The production of the statues, sculpted in hard Savonnières stone, was commissioned to Edouard Fiers (Ieper, 1822 – 1894).

Although the overall structure of the building is plain enough, the eye soon gets lost among the abundant sculptural decoration, featuring opulent vases, shells, rosettes and friezes as well as numerous symbolic and allegorical elements.

Similar stories in masonry are told by many other Brussels’ street fronts. Maybe a tip for one of your future town walks. (Nathalie Dumont)

Square de la Place du Petit Sablon

In my opinion, below, on the banknote is the original iron fence of Petit Sablon Park (Square de la Place du Petit Sablon), in Brussels, is shown. The only project of urban reconstruction Hendrik Beaard (opened in 1890).

In the XII century, the territory now occupied by the lovely Petit Sablon garden was located outside the city. The name she was given specific local soil. At the end of the XIX century, the borders of Brussels expanded considerably and a park was established at this place.

In the traditions of that time, the garden has a regular symmetrical layout, all of its objects are deeply symbolic: the clipped hedges, and the gothic columns of the fence, and 48 statues, which are usually associated with this corner of the city. The center of the garden is decorated with a fountain with a monument to the executed rebels - Count Egmont and Orn.

In this area of ​​the city there are many interesting cultural sites that provide good views and necessary entertainment. But, in general, Petit Sablon keeps a secluded, muffled atmosphere, which makes the picturesque garden a convenient place to relax from the bustle of the city.

Below, in the foreground - an element of the architectural plan of the building of the hotel of the National Bank in Brussels.

Denominations in numerals are in lower and top right corners, in words - in lower left corner.

Revers:

100 Francs 1990

Architectural decorative wrought iron fencing with arches (on background).

In the center is a three-dimensional geometric image of a polyhedron (three-dimensional decorative figure).

Denominations in numerals are in top left and lower right corners, in words - in lower left corner.

Comments:

Work by: Yvon Adam; Manfred Hürrig; Anne Velghe (Inv. - Sketch authors, designers); Charles Leclercqz (Sc. - Engraver).