James Ensor, ‘Affiche Pour Le Carnaval D'Ostende’, 1931, Freeman's

Image: 16.25 x 11.375 in (41.2 x 28.9cm)
Sheet: 18.375 x 12.75 in (46.7 x 32.4cm)

Freeman's is grateful to Mr. Xavier Tricot for his assistance cataloguing this work.

Signature: Signed and dedicated 'Pour mon ami Albert Croquez/ces masques Ostendais' in black ink, stamp numbered 933, with the official City of Ostende Carnival Committee stamp, with margins

[Delteil, Croquez, Taevernier, 142; Elesh, 136; Tricot, 143]

The Artist.
The Collection of Albert Croquez, Paris, France.
By family descent.
Private Collection, Pennsylvania.

About James Ensor

A major figure of the Belgian avant-garde in the late 19th century and a forerunner of 20th-century Expressionism, James Ensor produced paintings that explored religious subject matter, political satire, and carnivalesque imagery (his family owned an antiques and souvenir emporium that sold grotesque carnival masks). Stylistically, his paintings are characterized by harsh colors and thick layers of oil paint, sometimes applied with palette knives or spatulas. His most famous work, Christ’s Entry into Brussels (1889), incorporated his trademark style and depictions of fairground masks to satirize contemporary religion and politics in Belgium. In his early years, Ensor was a founder and leader of Les Vingt (The Twenty), a group whose goal was to promote new artistic developments in Europe, though they later rejected his work as it became more radical and extreme in subject and method. Ensor admired the works of Francisco Goya and J. M. W. Turner, and felt a particular affinity with their preoccupations with both light and violence.

Belgian, 1860-1949, Ostend, Belgium