L’Entre du Christ Bruxelles (The Entry of Christ into Brussels)

james ENSOR

JAMES ENSOR (1860-1949)
L’Entre du Christ Bruxelles (The Entry of Christ into Brussels)
etching, onsimili-Japonpaper, 1899, Elesh’s third state (of four), signed in pencil, countersigned and titled on the reverse, with margins, in very good condition, 9 x 14, the sheet 12 x 19 inches.

Delteil 114, Croquez 114, Taevernier 114, Elesh 118

A very fine early impression, before the correction in the final state of the word Mustart in the Colman (sic) Mustart (sic) sign (upper right); Ensor changed the “t” to a ”d” in the final state. He did not correct the spelling of Colman (should be Coleman).

The etching displays a myriad of signs, flags and banners, and a crowd resembling, in Ensor’s imagination, a version of the Brussels or Ostend carnival, which Ensor regularly attended. He was also fascinated by the figure of Christ, which appears in many of his etchings. According to the Gospels Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and was hailed as a liberator; a few days later the same crowd shouted for his execution. The masked and foreboding figures perhaps suggest the horrible, although burlesque, nature of the crowd, in the Flemish tradition of Ensor’s forebears Brueghel and Bosch.