The Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA) launched in 2013 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 findings of the Ensor Research Project are published on the museum website on a regular basis.
In a new online publication Astrid Schenk (a student of art history) summarises her research. She devoted her internship at the Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA) to studying the religious oeuvre of James Ensor.
‘The most significant is arguably that Ensor had a structural artistic interest in religious subjects. The size of his religious oeuvre, the great variation in religious subject matter, and the fact that he continued throughout his life to produce religious work are strong indications that, to Ensor, religious sources of inspiration were key to achieving his artistic goals. This relevance went well beyond the supposed identification of the artist with the suffering of Christ and the exploration of particular visual effects. Ensor borrowed from the Christian iconography in order to be able to visualise his ideas in a recognisable idiom and to conduct visual experiments in his quest for exaltation.'
(News item November 14 2014)