Live auction - Lot 179

A lost Ensor painting rediscovered

ENSOR, James

Vase and flowers.

[18 April 1940]

€ 10.000 / 12.000

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Lot description

Oil on canvas, 18,9 x 12,4 cm (visible), signed at bottom right "Ensor", sl. faded dedication at top "Pour mes amis Demoulière, / [multiplicateurs de] charité, amis de nos / [aimés de France] et de souffrance. / J.E.".

Good condition. Under passe-partout and frame.

Pink and white flowers in a blue and grey vase. An important part of James Ensor's (1860-1949) oeuvre consists of still-life paintings, as was demonstrated by the major exhibition "Rose, Rose, Rose à mes yeux. James Ensor and still life in Belgium from 1830 to 1930" at Mu.ZEE in Ostend in 2023-2024. Until now our painting was only known and described by Tricot through a small sketch in the "Liber Veritatis", a sketchbook kept by Ensor from 1929 to 1941 and preserved at the Art Institute of Chicago (inv. 1955.1021, f. 53r). The painting has now resurfaced for the first time. The composition and colours correspond with the drawing, and the dedication, signature and dimensions correspond with the inscriptions on the drawing. An additional inscription in the sketchbook allows us to date the painting 18 April 1940. Ensor produced the painting at the age of 80 and dedicated it to Mr. and Mrs. Demoulière (not “Dumoulin (?)” as suggested by Tricot based on the small drawing). The Demoulière family was friends with Ensor and collected his work (see R. Wangermée, "James Ensor et ses musiques", in: Bulletin de l'Académie Royale de Belgique. Classe des Beaux-Arts 10 (1999) 7-12, p. 243). An etching with a dedication to the same family is also included in this sale.
Ref. J. Ensor, Liber Veritatis, 1929-1941, f. 53r. - X. Tricot, James Ensor. Life and work. The complete paintings, Brussels 2009, p. 420, 841.
Prov. Mr. and Mrs. Demoulière (dedication). - Belgian private collection.

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Lot 179

A lost Ensor painting rediscovered

Vase and flowers.

ENSOR, James

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