James Ensor: Christ's Entry Into Brussels in 1889

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Getty Publications, 2002 - Art - 114 pages
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The brash young artist James Ensor painted Christ's Entry into Brussels in 1889 during a period of extraordinary artistic and political fomentation in his native Belgium. It is one of the most dazzling, innovative, and perplexing paintings created in Europe in the late nineteenth century, rivaling any work of its period in audacity and ambition. Huge in scale, complex in design and execution, and brimming with social commentary, the startling canvas presents a scene filled with clowns, masked figures, and--barely visible amid the swirling crowds--the tiny figure of Christ on a donkey entering the city of Brussels. This insightful volume examines the painting in light of Belgium's rich artistic, social, political, and theological debates in the late nineteenth century, and in the context of James Ensor's exceptional career, in order to decipher some of the painting's messages and meanings.

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A Painting and Its Paradoxes
The City the Street and the Urban Spectacle
Ensor and the Belgian Art World
The Politics of Church and State in Leopolds Belgium
The Artist as Rebel and Redeemer
A Kaleidoscope Gifted with Consciousness
Endnotes n1 Bibliography

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About the author (2002)

Patricia G. Berman is the Barbara Morris Caspersen Associate Professor of Art and chair of the Art Department at the Jewett Arts Center at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. She is the author of Edvard Munch: Mirror Reflections and, most recently, co-author of Munch and Women: Image and Myth.

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