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Capture of a Strange Town, 1888 - 1988

  • etching, paper
  • 173 x 233 mm
  • Inv. 1998-B-33-2

Public Domain

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With this imaginary view of an oriental-looking city full of statues, temples and staircases, Ensor links up with the tradition of the romantic city panorama, which combines interest in the exotic, the theatrical and the grand. An example might be "Betheshazzar's Feast" by the British painter John Martin, a specialist in this genre. This work is reproduced in Ernest Chesneau's book La Peinture anglaise, from which Ensor copied. The intricate perspectives and lighting effects in the print are also reminiscent of works by Giovanni Battista Piranesi and James Turner.


James Ensor RKD VIAF Wikidata
Ostend 1860 - Ostend 1949

Title Capture of a Strange Town
Date 1888 - 1988
Period 19th century
Medium and support etching AAT
Signatures, inscriptions, and markings printed inscription bottom right: Ensor
printed inscription bottom right: Ensor
inscription bottom right: James Ensor 1888 / Le prise d'une ville etrange
inscription on the reverse: AT
inscription on the reverse: D 33
Collection print room
Object type etching AAT
Inventory number 1998-B-33-2
Acquisition credit purchase
Taevernier, Auguste (coll.)
Current whereabouts Work currently not on display
IIIF Manifest
Art & Architecture Thesaurus 300056485 fantastic art AAT
Keywords Iconclass 12A43 the Temple (in general) ~ Jewish religion Iconclass
12E61 temple, shrine ~ Greek religion Iconclass
12F61 temple, shrine ~ Roman religion Iconclass
12H61 temple, shrine ~ Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism Iconclass
12I61 temple, shrine ~ Islam, Mohammedanism Iconclass
22C31 radiance emanating from persons or things Iconclass
25F25 trunked animals Iconclass
25I city-view, and landscape with man-made constructions Iconclass
25I12 prospect of city, town panorama, silhouette of city Iconclass
31A71 male sex; man Iconclass
31A72 female sex; woman Iconclass
41A1 civic architecture; edifices; dwellings Iconclass
45 warfare; military affairs Iconclass
45A1 war Iconclass
45A10 symbols, allegories of war; 'Guerra' (Ripa) Iconclass
45K3 defence ~ siege Iconclass
45K31 defence of fortification or city Iconclass
45K4 capture of city (after the siege) Iconclass
48C161 column, pillar ~ architecture Iconclass
52A4 Imagination; 'Imaginatione' (Ripa) Iconclass
52A44 Fantasy, Caprice; 'Capriccio' (Ripa) Iconclass
School / Style phantasy
satire (artistic device) AAT
James Ensor : Catalogue illustré de ses gravures ; Leur description critique et l'inventaire des plaques = Geïllustreerde catalogus van zijn gravures ; Hun kritische beschrijving en inventaris van de platen = Illustrated catalogue of his engravings ; Their critical description and inventary of the plates / Auguste Taevernier. - Ledeberg (Gent) : Erasmus Boekhandel bv Amsterdam, 1973 (nr. 33)
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