Online contributions KMSKA Ensor Research Project

The Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA) launched the Ensor Research Project. The museum possesses the world's largest and most varied collection of works by James Ensor and strives to become the leading centre of expertise in art-historical and material technical research into the oeuvre of this Belgian artist.

The material and technical research of the paintings of James Ensor is performed at the museum's conservation workshop. In a series of articles, the KMSKA tries to familiarise the public with the research methods and techniques applied.

A painter's palette can tell us a great deal about the artist's painterly approach. In Ensor's Palette, restorer Karen Bonne compares a number of real palettes in the museum collection with palettes represented in paintings by, among others, James Ensor.

James Ensor was so skilled at palette knife painting that he was able to apply the technique to great optical effect. In this article, restorer Karen Bonne explores Ensor's quest for the perfect touch.

In September 2012, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp made a start with the conservation and restoration treatment of one of James Ensor's most iconic and captivating paintings: Astonishment of the Mask Wouse, signed and dated 1889. Restorer Laure Mortiaux explains how the restoration project has yielded new insights into Ensor's technique and provided clues about the material history of the painting and the various treatments that it has undergone.

(News Item July 4 2014)