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Self-Portrait with Masks

James Ensor

Self-Portrait with Masks

James Ensor
  • Original Title: Ensor aux masques
  • Date: 1899
  • Style: Symbolism
  • Genre: self-portrait
  • Media: oil
  • Dimensions: 120 x 80 cm
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In Self-Portrait with Masks (1899), the artist paints himself in the middle of a carnival throng. Only the heads are visible in the perspective, the bodies blocked by an agglomeration of weird and scary faces. Near the center of the canvas is the artist himself, looking a little apprehensive, but very human in comparison to the ghouls, demons, monsters and skulls hemming him in on all sides. The painting begs questions about an artist who never managed to fit in.

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