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(b Ostend, 13 Apr. 1860; d Ostend, 19 Nov. 1949). Belgian painter and etcher (his father was English and he had British nationality until 1929). One of the most original artists of his time, Ensor had links with Symbolism, was a major influence on Expressionism, and was claimed by the Surrealists as a forerunner, but his work defies classification within any school or group. Apart from a period studying at the Academy in Brussels, 1877–80, and a few brief trips abroad, he rarely left his home town of Ostend. where his parents kept a souvenir shop. His early works were mainly bourgeois interiors painted in a thick and vigorous technique. When several were rejected by the Salon in Brussels in 1883, Ensor joined the progressive group Les Vingt.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)


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