Christus aan het kruis, 1931

oil paint
505 x 603 x 20 mm

Irma and Jules Dhondt-Dhaenens’ collection contains only a few works that explicitly refer to religion.

Christus aan het kruis by James Ensor is one of the most striking. The fluorescent pink cross and the explosion of shapes and colours do not immediately refer to classical religious formal language. The Christ figure has a prominent and mostly allegorical place in Ensor’s oeuvre. Here the artist projects his own inner image, albeit without pursuing too fierce a defiguration.

In this small composition, we see the artist's unbridled imagination come to life in bizarre shapes and bombastic, unconventional colours. In 1921 Ensor had the catalogue Taferelen uit het leven van Christus published at Galerie Georges Giroux (GGG) in Brussels.

  • This work is part of the museum’s main collection. It was included in the inventory of the donation from Jules and Irma Dhondt-Dhaenens that was compiled at the board meeting on 03.06.1967.

Irma and Jules Dhondt-Dhaenens in front of James Ensor’s work Christus aan het kruis in their Villa Zodenhof, 1963.
Foto: Cedric Verhelst,, publiek domein.