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Christ's Entry Into Brussels in 1889

James Ensor

Christ's Entry Into Brussels in 1889

James Ensor
  • Original Title: L'Entrée du Christ à Bruxelles
  • Date: 1888
  • Style: Expressionism, Symbolism
  • Genre: religious painting
  • Media: oil
  • Dimensions: 253 x 431 cm
  • Order Oil Painting

"Christ's Entry Into Brussels in 1889" is considered Ensor's most famous work and was a precursor to Expressionism. It represents a "future" event, that of the coming of Christ in modern Brussels. While Christ's aura can be seen in the far background, the foreground is dominated by a mass of people (reminiscent of the masks from other paintings of the artist; there are also a few skulls) and slogans ("Vive la sociale!", "Vive Jésus, roi de Bruxelles!"). The painting was rejected by Les XX, and not exhibited until 1929. It was shown at his studio in his lifetime. It was exhibited at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp from 1947 to 1983, Kunsthaus Zürich from 1983 to 1987. It showed at a retrospective in 1976 at the Art Institute of Chicago, and Guggenheim Museum. The painting is on permanent exhibition at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. An 1898 etching is based on it, bearing the same title and concept, but featuring a more complex composition, with more details, characters and slogans.

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