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The Garden of the Rousseau Family

The Garden of the Rousseau Family

1885

James Ensor

(Belgian, 1860-1949)

Oil on fabric

Framed: 96.2 x 82.6 x 9.3 cm (37 7/8 x 32 1/2 x 3 11/16 in.); Unframed: 75.5 x 61 cm (29 3/4 x 24 in.)

Gift of Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. 1950.582

Fun Fact

James Ensor painted in a wide variety of styles and techniques, his subjects varying from realistic landscapes like this one to fantastical imagined scenes from literature and theater. The sea in his hometown of Ostend, Belgium, was also a favorite subject.

Description

Early in his career, Ensor often stayed at the Brussels home of his close friends, Ernest and Mariette Rousseau. In the intellectual circle gathered around Ernest, a professor of physics at the University of Brussels, Ensor encountered a receptive environment that liberated him from the stifling surroundings of his native Ostend. This tranquil view of Mariette's garden contrasts dramatically with Ensor's better-known paintings of moral depravity and social alienation.

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