Getty Adds Ensor Etchings, Plans 2014 Show

An anonymous donor has given the Getty Research Institute three hand-colored etchings by James Ensor and 23 etchings by Jean-Jacques de Boissieu. The press release says that the Getty Museum is planning a major Ensor exhibition for 2014. Though there was an Ensor show at MoMA in 2009, it lacked the magnum opus Christ’s Entry into Brussels in 1889, owned by the Getty and judged too big and fragile to move.

The GRI now has 19 Ensor prints. The new acquisitions are The Scavenger and two based on Edgar Allan Poe stories: Hop-Frog’s Revenge and King Pest. In the latter tale, two drunken sailors skip a bar tab and encounter King Pest’s family of weirdos. Ensor closely follows Poe’s description of the characters. The rectangular gentleman at center “was habited, somewhat uniquely, in a new and handsome mahogany coffin. Its top or head-piece pressed upon the skull of the wearer, and extended over it in the fashion of a hood, giving to the entire face an air of indescribable interest.”

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