Ensor, James (Sidney), Baron

Ensor, James (Sidney), Baron

biographical name

(born April 13, 1860, Ostend, Belg.—died Nov. 19, 1949, Ostend) Belgian painter and printmaker. Trained in Brussels, he spent most of his life in his native Ostend. In 1883 he joined a group known as Les Vingt (“The Twenty”) and began depicting skeletons, phantoms, masks, and other images of grotesque fantasy as social commentary. His work from this period has often been described as Symbolist. His Entry of Christ into Brussels (1888), painted in smeared, garish colours, provoked outrage. Continuing negative criticism plunged him ever deeper into cynicism until he finally became a recluse. The exhibition of Entry of Christ in 1929 led to his being ennobled by King Albert of Belgium. He was one of the formative influences on Expressionism.

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