Coinciding with renewed interest in James Ensor, this catalogue raisonné comes as an essential and definitive volume for Ensor buffs and all serious libraries of modern art. A legend in his own lifetime, Ensor (1860-1949) was--alongside Vincent van Gogh and Edvard Munch--a fearless independent whose work led directly to the development of German Expressionism and French Surrealism. Ensor achieved fame as the "painter of masks," and for his bizarre still lifes and grotesque carnival scenes, in harsh, contrasting, brilliant colors, evolving out of the traditional Flemish dance of death. Now, the reader can explore the Belgian painter's oeuvre thoroughly, in this opulently illustrated, full-color, slipcased catalogue raisonné. A comprehensive illustrated chronology offers additional details about the artist's life and work, and forms an integral part of this splendid, highly valuable contribution to art historical research, ensuring the legacy of a great artist who continues to inspire contemporary art.
About the Author:
James Ensor grew up in the seaside town of Ostend, Belgium, where he returned after studying at the Academie de Bruxelles, and worked for the rest of his life. Ensor painted in a studio that had once been his aunt and uncle's shell and souvenir shop, and although he shut its doors to the public, he left some of the merchandise as it was. As a leading member of the avant-garde group Les Vingt (The Twenty) he shared their harsh critical reception, but after Les Vingt disbanded, he continued to work and eventually won wide acclaim. By the time of his death in 1949 he had been made a baron, and his home is now the Ensor House museum.
Anna Swinbourne is Assistant Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art.
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