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James Ensor

Born: Ostend, 13 April 1860
Died: Ostend, 19 November 1949
Nationality: Belgian

mother owned a seaside souvenir shop; family lived upstairs


Académie des Beaux-Arts, Brussels (1877)


1877 – studies at Académie des Beaux-Arts Brussels simultaneously with Fernand Khnopff

1880s – exhibits in Brussels at Chrysalide gallery at Cercle Artistique, and with L’ Essor; exhibits at Paris Salon

1883 – founder-member of Les XX

1893 – Lex XX disbands; Ensor excluded from La Libre Esthétique

1896 – Belgian government purchases Lamp Boy; Ensor’s first one-man show (Brussels)

1898 – the Parisian magazine Plume organizes exhibition of Ensor’s work

1903 – Ensor made Knight of the Order of Leopold

1908 – publication of Emile Verhaeren’s monograph on Ensor

1920 – performance of Ensor’s ballet-pantomime, The Scale of Love

1929 – Ensor made a baron

Important Artworks: 

Russian Music, 1881 (Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels)

Scandalized Masks, 1883 (Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels)

Tribulations of St Anthony, 1887 (Museum of Modern Art, New York)

The Intrigue, 1911 (Minneapolis Institute of Arts)