Five heads wearing theatrical masks by a Belgian artist

Celebrating the work of artist James Ensor for Halloween.

In Zoe Cameron Blog by Zoe Cameron

Belgian artist, James Ensor is considered an uncompromising painter and printmaker, an innovator of his time, 1860-1949 . Some of his theatrical, macabre and unconventional subject matter made him notable to me as a young student, but the skills he employed throughout his career seem masterly to me now. 

It was while studying at Art College at the end of the 1970’s, that I was introduced to this artists extraordinary work by our art history lecturer Peter Gorga, a generous and eccentric tutor who shared with us his deep understanding and appreciation of art and artists.

Here, I offer a few examples of Ensors unnerving subject matter to celebrate Halloween, and to remember this truly skilled, avant-garde artist. 

James Ensor. ‘Skeleton Stopping The Masks’. Oil on canvas.1891.
Auction 2016 Paris.
Estimate :1,000,000 — 1,500,000 EUR. 
Lot Sold – 7,357,500 EUR 
 ’Skeletons fighting for the Body of a hanged Man’. Oil on canvas. 1891. James Ensor
(meemoo,Flemish Institute archives)
‘Skeleton painter in His Atelier‘. Oil on canvas. James Ensor. 
(meemoo,Flemish Institute archives)
Skeletons trying to warm themselves’.Etching. James Ensor.
(meemoo,Flemish Institute archives)
‘Intrigue’. James Ensor .
(meemoo, Flemish Institute archives)