James Ensor

Belgium / 1860 - 1949 / / wikipedia
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James Sidney Edouard, Baron Ensor (13 April 1860 – 19 Nov. 1949); Belgian painter and printmaker, an important influence on expressionism and surrealism who lived in Ostend for almost his entire life. He was associated with the artistic group Les XX.

Ensor's father, James Frederic Ensor, born in Brussels of English parents, was a cultivated man who studied engineering in England and Germany] Ensor's mother, Maria Catherina Haegheman, was Belgian. Ensor himself lacked interest in academic study and left school at 15 to begin his artistic training with two local painters. From 1877-80, he attended the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, where one of his fellow students was Fernand Khnopff. Ensor first exhibited his work in 1881. From 1880 until 1917, he had his studio in the attic of his parents' house. His travels were very few: three brief trips to France and two to the Netherlands in the 1880s, and a four-day trip to London in 1892.

During the late 19th century much of his work was rejected as scandalous, particularly his painting Christ's Entry Into Brussels in 1889. The Belgium art critic Octave Maus famously summed up the response from contemporaneous art critics to Ensor's innovative (and often scathingly political) work: "Ensor is the leader of a clan. Ensor is the limelight. Ensor sums up and concentrates certain principles which are considered to be anarchistic. In short, Ensor is a dangerous person who has great changes... He is consequently marked for blows. It is at him that all the harquebuses are aimed. It is on his head that are dumped the most aromatic containers of the so-called serious critics." Some of Ensor's contemporaneous work reveals his precocious response to this criticism....

Ensor was a prolific and accomplished printmaker. He created 133 etchings and drypoints over the course of his career....

Ensor is considered to be an innovator in 19th-century art....He has been paid homage...
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Ensor)
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Philippe Orlent

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