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Crucifixion - Study for Etoiles

James Ensor

Crucifixion - Study for Etoiles, 18th-19th Century

Graphite on Paper



James Ensor was a 19th and 20th century Belgian painter, printmaker, and draughtsman who produced most of his work between 1880 and 1900. Difficult to define, Ensor’s work uses elements of Symbolism and Realism, explores color extensively while rejecting Impressionism, and anticipates many of the major artistic movements of the early 20th century. Ensor uses bright and violent colors like the Fauves and German Expressionists as well as the psychological fantasies of Surrealism. Much of Ensor’s work addresses religious themes in a subjective and metaphorical way, attempting to express his personal unhappiness and anxiety while escaping a mundane reality. 

Current Condition of the Artwork:

The sketch is worn and dirty. There is an L-shaped tear at the top center and numerous smaller edge tears. There is mottled, oil-based discoloration throughout the paper, especially in the top section. There are numerous fingerprints and smudges throughout. The back of the paper is very dirty.

Conservation Treatment Proposed:

  • Remove sketch from the matte to facilitate further treatment.
  • Clean surface as much as possible, although oily stains will remain.
  • Remove hinges with controlled applications of moisture.
  • Mend/reinforce with Japanese paper and wheat starch past.
  • Humidify and flatten.
  • All materials used will be appropriate and conservation quality. All work will adhere to the highest standards of the field.

Estimated Cost of Treatment:  $700.00