James Ensor



Major Japanese hard-cover monograph published on the occasion of a travelling exhibition of James Ensor’s work, hosted at 5 different museums across Japan in 2005. Mie Prefectural Art Museum June 18, 2005 – July 24, Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum April 23 – June 12, Fukushima Prefectural Museum of Art July 30 – September 4, Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art September 10 – October 16, Takamatsu City Museum of Art October 21 – December 4.
Includes countless reproductions of Ensor’s paintings, prints and drawings, photographs, essays, descriptions of works, bibliography, biography, and much more, all in English and Japanese.

James Sidney Edouard, Baron Ensor (13 April 1860 – 19 November 1949) was a 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. While Ensor’s early works, such as Russian Music (1881) and The Drunkards (1883), depict realistic scenes in a somber style, his palette subsequently brightened and he favored increasingly bizarre subject matter. Such paintings as The Scandalized Masks (1883) and Skeletons Fighting over a Hanged Man (1891) feature figures in grotesque masks inspired by the ones sold in his mother’s gift shop for Ostend’s annual Carnival. Subjects such as carnivals, masks, puppetry, skeletons, and fantastic allegories are dominant in Ensor’s mature work. Ensor dressed skeletons up in his studio and arranged them in colorful, enigmatic tableaux on the canvas, and used masks as a theatrical aspect in his still lifes. Attracted by masks’ plastic forms, bright colors, and potential for psychological impact, he created a format in which he could paint with complete freedom. James Ensor is considered to be an innovator in 19th-century art. Although he stood apart from other artists of his time, he significantly influenced such 20th-century artists as Paul Klee, George Grosz, Wols, and many expressionist and surrealist painters of the 20th century.

James Ensor - 1860-1949
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