Belgische kunstenaar James Ensor

Ensor James

James Ensor was a Belgian artist born in Ostend in 1860 and died there in 1949. He was a painter, draftsman and etcher. Pupil of Edouard Dunbar and Michel van Cuyckx in Ostend (1876). Training at the Academy in Brussels under the direction of J. Stallaert and J. Van Severdonck (1877-1880). Also received advice from J. Portaels. Painter and etcher of landscapes, seascapes, interiors, still lifes, figures, portraits, satirical and humorous subjects. His first works, which had a gloomy and intimate appearance, were very loved. Later, this was no longer the case when he portrayed unusual things with stronger color contrasts. For about twenty years he became a "peintre maudit". He painted, in a very personal style, allegories and satires in which from 1883 masks are combined with grotesque characters and skeletons. But he also liked genre scenes and still lifes, which he treated in transparent, luminous and refined colors. Co-founder of Les XX in 1883. Made his first etchings in 1886 (eventually he created 133 of them). Considered to be the driving force behind most contemporary art forms. His fantastic compositions already heralded surrealism. Until his death in 1949, he lived and worked in the now so-called James Ensor House in Ostend, the house he inherited from his uncle in 1917 who, together with his wife, kept a shell and souvenir shop there. Mentioned in the Lexicon of West Flemish visual artists V, BAS I and Two centuries of signatures of Belgian artists. Source: Paul Piron, The Belgian visual artists from the 19th to the 21st century.