Christ Tormented by Demons

Public Domain

Artist / maker

James Ensor (etchers)

Date

1895

Period

19th century
The passion story of Christ is a common theme in Western visual art. In Ensor's time, the story had a special resonance in popular devotion through the annual Stations of the Cross on Good Friday. However, Ensor's disconcerting view of Christ's death has another dimension. Death predominates in the print, with the bystanders as living corpses on the right and…
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The passion story of Christ is a common theme in Western visual art. In Ensor's time, the story had a special resonance in popular devotion through the annual Stations of the Cross on Good Friday. However, Ensor's disconcerting view of Christ's death has another dimension. Death predominates in the print, with the bystanders as living corpses on the right and threatening devil figures on the left. Satan even takes hold of the figure of Christ, whose physiognomy resembles that of Ensor himself. Above the cross, a strange sort of angel blows a trumpet. In the background the artist has depicted a gallows field. The etching is largely based on a charcoal drawing from the series The Aureoles of Christ from 1886 (Brussels, KMKSB, inv. 4193). On the back of this drawing, Ensor described the work as follows: "La triste et brisée. Satan et les légions fantastiques tourmentant le crucifié." The first part of the title refers to the effect of the light, the second to the subject.
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More about this work

Vlaamse Kunstcollectie - EN

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