The Clown | MSK Gent
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The Clown, ca. 1898 - 1899

  • oil paint, canvas
  • 100 x 50.5 cm
  • Inv. 1924-H

Public Domain

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Although the music hall was Henri Evenepoel’s favourite subject, his fair scenes, such as The Clown, are more exceptional than anything else. The theme of the clown is unique in his oeuvre as a whole. Evenepoel portrays him as a tragic leading character surrounded by a crowd of spectators. The clown moves across the stage rather clumsily, with a bald head, garish make-up and a grimace on his face. His pitiful character contrasts sharply with his mocking, somewhat malicious, audience whose faces are almost transformed into masks, in a way that reminds us of Ensor, as they ridicule the clown on the stage.


Henri Evenepoel RKD VIAF Wikidata
Nice 1872 - Paris 1899
painters (artists)AAT

Title The Clown
Date ca. 1898 - 1899
Period 19th century
Collection paintings AAT
Object type oil paintings (visual works) AAT
Inventory number 1924-H
Acquisition credit purchase
Van Oost (coll.)
Current whereabouts Work currently not on display
IIIF Manifest
Art & Architecture Thesaurus 300189808 figures (representations) AAT
300056485 fantastic art AAT
Keywords Iconclass 31A231 standing figure Iconclass
31B62313 smiling Iconclass
31B62322 grimacing Iconclass
31B6233 mouth wide open Iconclass
31D14 adult man Iconclass
43A373 clown Iconclass
46A139 buffoon (in general) (German: 'Schalksnarr') Iconclass
48A71 performance Iconclass
48A712 the audience ~ art performance Iconclass
48A721 theatre (building) Iconclass
48C81 the stage and its equipment Iconclass
48C865 vaudeville, variety-show Iconclass
56B131 Joke; 'Giuoco (dall'antico)' (Ripa) Iconclass
School / Style Impressionist (style) AAT
Catalogus van het Museum van Schoone Kunsten Gent : II: Moderne Meesters / Georges Chabot, Fritz Van Loo. - Gent : Ad. Hoste, 1932 (p. 65)
D'Ensor à Magritte dans les collections du Musée de Gand (exposition Lodève, Musée de Lodève-Hôtel du Cardinal de Fleury, 19 novembre 2004 - 27 février 2005) / Maïthé Vallès-Bled, Robert Hoozee, Johan De Smet, Helke Lauwaert, Bruno Fornari. - Lodève : Musée de Lodève, 2004 ; Milano : Mazzotta, 2004 (p. 122-124, cat. 30)
James Ensor : Schrecken ohne Ende (Ausstellung Wuppertal, Von der Heydt-Museum, 12. Oktober 2008 - 8. februar 2009) / Gerhard Finckh, Joachim Heusinger von Waldegg, Herwig Todts, Norbert Hostyn. - Wuppertal : Von der Heydt-Museum, 2008
Belgische schone : Ensor tot Magritte ; Hoogtepunten uit de verzameling van het Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent (tentoonstelling Laren, Singer Laren, 16.06 - 30.08.2015) / Johan De Smet, Jan Rudolph De Lorm. - Gent : Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent, 2015 ; Laren : Singer Laren, 2015 ; Heule : Uitgeverij Snoeck, 2015 (cat.18, afb. p.37)
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