Skip to main content
Paul-Gustave van Hecke. Art Supremo, Fashion King and Champagne Socialist


Manu van der Aa

Paul-Gustave van Hecke (1887-1967) was a man of many talents. Art, politics, fashion… he brought his own inimitable style to each of these areas and did so using several different monikers: Pégé, Gust or Tatave, depending on how well he knew the person he was talking to.

A brilliant glimpse into the daily practice of an artist and entrepreneur during a period in which the arts were in constant flux.
BMGN – Low Countries Historical Review

With his fashion house Norine, named after his wife, Van Hecke may well be called the first Belgian fashion designer. He also became involved in local politics, with varying degrees of success. But above all he was a real art supremo. He promoted the work of, among others, the expressionists Constant Permeke, Frits van den Berghe and Gust de Smet, as well as the surrealists René Magritte and Paul Delvaux.

He had his portrait painted by Leon Spilliaert and was photographed by Man Ray. He was also close to Marc Chagall and Max Ernst – all artists whose work he promoted and whom he considered friends. As a gallerist, couturier, magazine owner and film programmer, he was an absolute pioneer in Belgium. And yet he is not a household name.

Fifty years after his passing, Manu van der Aa brings Tatave to life again, and with him half a century of Belgian art history. He portrays an unconventional cultural entrepreneur who managed to effortlessly pull together opportunism, creativity and networking.

A meticulously documented and beautifully illustrated biography of a fascinating figure