James Ensor


 Selfportrait with the Flowerhat (1883)The Belgian painter James Ensor (1860-1949) was one of the most original artists of the nineteenth century. His name is often used in one sentence with that of Edvard Munch. They lived in the same period, and there are similarities in their expressionist style. But Ensor was also influenced by the Flemish/Dutch traditions. He started with traditional realistic and romantic paintings. But soon his work showed more fantastic and shocking sides. When Ensor introduced brutal and mocking subject matter his work was refused by the Paris Salon. His best known painting is probably The Entry of Christ into Brussels in 1889.

And did you know that They Might Be Giants made a song called Meeting James Ensor?

Above: "Death Pursuing a Flock of Mortals" (1896)
Below: "Skeletons warming themselves at a stove" (1889)
Bottom: "The Masks and Death" (1897)