The Cathedral

The Cathedral
5 records
James Ensor The Cathedral

The Cathedral, by James Ensor, subtly merges the artist’s command of the natural world with an invented world of circus and spectacle. In this suite of five impressions, Ensor captures not only the effects of different light on his imagined cathedral; he also shifts the mood of the scene through different uses of ink and surfaces, creating dramatic works of light and movement.

Ensor’s best work was produced between 1880 and 1900, a period in which he executed a dizzying parade of extraordinary images unlike anything that had preceded them. The macabre, fantastic, apocalyptic, absurd, and exotic are all to be found in his prints, rendered in an unmistakable style that is at once arduous and sensitive. Ensor’s crowd is composed of orderly ranks of military troops and a marching band, and of unruly, bizarrely dressed spectators compressed into the image’s foreground. Church, state, and society intersect here in an anarchic satire on politics, culture, and independence. View more works by James Ensor in LACMA’s collection.

Kevin Salatino, Curator, Prints and Drawings, (2008)