The Intrigue
On View In:
Gallery 371
Artist:   James Ensor  
Title:   The Intrigue  
Date:   1911  
Medium:   Oil on canvas  
Dimensions:   37 1/4 x 44 1/4 in. (94.62 x 112.4 cm) (canvas) 47 3/8 x 53 7/8 x 3 1/2 in. (120.33 x 136.84 x 8.89 cm) (outer frame)  
Credit Line:   Gift of Mrs. John S. Pillsbury, Sr.  
Location:   Gallery 371  

James Ensor, along with Vincent van Gogh and Edvard Munch, is considered a pioneer of Expressionism. But as a creator of fantastic and bizarre images such as The Intrigue, Ensor reveals his kinship to old masters of the bizarre such as Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Brueghel the Elder. Here, the artist depicted his sister, Mariette in blue hair and green cape, with her top-hatted fiancé, Tan Hée Tseu, a Chinese art dealer from Berlin. The couple's engagement had caused a scandal in the home town of the Ensor family, and the artist, in retaliation, depicts the town gossips who, disguised in their masks, have come out to point, stare, and laugh at the couple.

Name:   Ensor, James  
Nationality:   Belgian  
Life Dates:   Belgian, 1860 - 1949  

Object Description  
Inscriptions:   Signature and Date LR in black: [ENSOR 1911]  
Classification:   Paintings  
Physical Description:   Composition is very similar to L'Intrigue by Ensor in collection of Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp, which measures 35 1/2' x 59' and is dated 1890.  
Creation Place:   Europe, Belgium, , ,  
Accession #:   70.38  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts