About this artwork

Ensor’s print output demonstrates an enormous versatility and range. He was adept at both intensely worked compositions as well as minimal, almost scrawl-like work. This print has a child-like simplicity, each figure consists of just a few lines, but it stems from an awareness of the Dutch and Flemish tradition of grotesque imagery that stretches back to Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Breughel the Elder. It shows a procession of strange other-worldly figures with exaggerated animal-like features. They march in line with their pitchforks, snaking up an incline and led by a devilish figure riding a headless beast. The morbid and menacing atmosphere of this monstrous gang is an expression of his attitude towards the social and political inhumanity that he saw around him.

Updated before 2020

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  • artist:
  • title:
    Cortege Infernal [Infernal Procession]
  • date created:
    Dated 1887
  • materials:
    Etching on paper
  • measurements:
    Image size: 21.90 x 26.90 cm; paper size: 34.50 x 46.60 cm
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1979
  • accession number:
    GMA 2098
  • gallery:
    View by Appointment
  • subject:
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James Ensor

James Ensor