View Full Version : French Painter, did lots involving masks, who was he?

08-29-2001, 06:06 PM
No great intellectual debate, just an art question. Who was the painter, I believe he's French, who did lots of paintings where all the people had masks for faces? He also did alot of ink illustrations of people with the Plague, and demons, and things of that nature. Thanks so much in advance for your assistance.

08-29-2001, 06:22 PM
Sorry, no assistance, but your username did make me laugh out loud from the main forum page, which has never happened to me before. Thanks for the chuckle.

08-29-2001, 07:23 PM
Erm, I'm approaching this one with trepidation, but... but... but.. like.. do you mean Pablo Picasso (http://www.moma.org/collection/paintsculpt/picasso.demoiselles.html)?

Slithy Tove
08-29-2001, 09:08 PM
James Ensor comes to mind, but he was Belgian.

(although aren't Belgians technically just Frenchmen who are smart enough to prefer beer to wine?)

08-29-2001, 09:31 PM
I think... you may be thinking of that surrealist Hieronymous Bosch (http://cgi.di.uoa.gr/~grad0146/English/works.html)

Nightmarish paintings (literally - it gave me nightmares as a kid).

Ukulele Ike
08-29-2001, 09:54 PM
Yeah, Slithy is right. It's Ensor you're thinking of.

I always thought of Belgians as French with better French fries.

08-29-2001, 10:37 PM
Woo Hoo! Ensor was who I was looking for! Sorry I threw you with the French instead of Belgian thing. Thanks all that helped or tried to help, you're all the whip!

Slithy Tove
08-30-2001, 12:26 AM
If it is a true Frenchman you seek, I suggest you check out the works of Georges Roulalt, a (the) French Expressionist (those ham-fisted Germans were EX-pressionist - until Matisse the French were esoteric IM-pressionists) In regards to the themes of Ensor, he out-Ensors Ensor. Titles include "Man is a Wolf to Man," and "It is Very Hard to Live." I know of no more plain-spoken titles in art or literature.

For an American perspective on the same subject, please look for the works of H.C. Westerman. I pledge to give him his due in an entire thread as soon as I can find a fraction of the time he deserves. Suffice it to say here that if Jackson Pollock bore Thomas Jefferson's love-child it would be H. C. Westerman.

And to name THE artist who ultimately out-Ensored Ensor, I recommend the Austrian Egon Shieile. He showed the soul as rotting flesh sloughing off the face. What better alternative to the use of masks?

08-30-2001, 03:28 AM
They Might Be Giants have written a song about James Ensor. From the lyrics:

Meet James Ensor
Belgium's famous painter
Dig him up and shake his hand
Appreciate the man

He lost all his friends
He didn't need his friends
He lived with his mother and repeated himself
The world has forgotten
The world moved along
The crowd at his window went back to their homes

(Full lyrics at http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/SongUnid/0C690604075FE440482568B1002A4089)

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