James Ensor – Views of Belgium

James Ensor

Belgian Expressionist Painter, 1860-1949
James Sidney Ensor was born in Ostend, Belgium, on April 13 1860 and — except for three years spent at the Brussels Academy, from 1877 to 1879 — he lived in Ostend all his life. His parents owned a souvenir shop.

After his studies at the Brussels Academy, Ensor started painting rather traditional way. His early works were of traditional subjects: landscapes, still lifes, portraits, and interiors painted in deep, rich colors and enriched by a subdued but vibrant light. In the 1880’s, Ensor style changed to a mixture of symbolism and expressionism. He also co-founded the avantgardist art group "Les vingt". He took his subject matter principally from Ostend’s holiday crowds, which filled him with revulsion and disgust. Portraying individuals as clowns or skeletons or replacing their faces with carnival masks, he represented humanity as stupid, smirking, vain, and loathsome. At age 18, James Ensor painted his most known work "Christ’s Entry Into Brussels". This controversial painting makes fun with the entry of Christ in Jerusalem. In 1892, Ensor’s art went through some more changes. Though he still made extensive use of his famous masks, Ensor decided to use pastel colours. In 1920 Ensor also wrote the music for the ballet "La Gamme d’Amour". James Ensor was made a Baron in 1930 by the Belgian king. He died in 1949 in Ostend, where there is now a museum devoted to his work.

In 1995, the state of Belgium recognized Ensor’s achievements by dedicating the 100-franc bill to him and his work.

Bathing Hut
Rooftops of Ostend
The Cab
The Flemish Flats Seen From the Dunes


Filed under Art

3 responses to “James Ensor – Views of Belgium

  1. Kes

    Hi Dermott where did you go……………………..Kes

  2. Sarah

    Hi Dermott,Ah beautiful paintings … to ease this blooming cold … a cold always sounds so innocuous …I thought maybe I felt so weird \’cos I\’ve given up cigs … it\’s really hard to collate any thought … but Nope I\’ve got a Nicotine patch on .. So looks like I\’m just playing a waiting game… waiting for it to be over…It\’s horrible Dermott .. I hardly know what day it is .. not nice when it\’s foisted upon you …I\’ve just been out and bought some Vodka .. I don\’t normally drink … but I\’m gonna disinfect my cold away..Meanwhile .. Take care and thanks for being patient,Lotsa Luv Sarah XX   A_____Tiss_____U

  3. Angel eyes

    thanks so much m friend Dermott my father often spoke of ostend and live in west flamders  there is still hope that some day i will see my father\’s native land and til then thanks after all beligium and france aren\’t so very far apart are they will let you know if i even have that dream come true thanks again angel eyes

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