389
389

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

James Ensor
COQUILLES FORMES REBONDIES
JUMP TO LOT
389

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

James Ensor
COQUILLES FORMES REBONDIES
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Day Sale (Including Picasso Earth & Fire: Unique Ceramics from the Collection of Marina Picasso)

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James Ensor
1860 - 1949
COQUILLES FORMES REBONDIES
signed Ensor (lower right); signed James Ensor and dedicated Pour Ernestine Mollet 1943 on the reverse and signed James Ensor, inscribed Ostende and titled on the stretcher
oil on canvas
50.4 by 60.5cm., 19 7/8 by 23 3/4 in.
Painted in June 1938.
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Provenance

Ernestine Mollet, Ostend (a gift from the artist in 1943)
Peurquaet, Ostend
Private Collection, Brussels
Thence by decent to the present owner before the 1980s

Exhibited

Paris, Galerie d’Orsay, Les Peintres Surréalistes, Delvaux, Ensor, Labisse, Magritte…,1999, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Tokyo, Metropolitan Teien Art Museum & travelling in Japan, James Ensor: Japonism to Modernism, 2005, no. 36

Literature

Xavier Tricot, James Ensor, Catalogue raisonné of the paintings, 1902-1941, vol. II, London, 1992, no. 757, illustrated p. 647
Xavier Tricot, James Ensor, The complete paintings, Ostfildern, 2009, no. 777, illustrated in colour p. 308

Catalogue Note

Imbued with a voluptuous sensuality that elevates Coquilles forms rebondies above standard exemplars of the still life genre, the present work reveals the influence of James Ensor’s childhood experiences within his mother’s souvenir shop in Ostend. The artist grew up surrounded by extraordinarily diverse artefacts from various countries which his mother had collected together in order to sell, and Ensor recalled the profound influence these objects exerted on him:  'In my parent’s shop I had seen the wavy lines, the serpentine forms of beautiful seashells, the iridescent light of mother-of-pearl, the rich tones of delicate chinoiseries…' (quoted in Paul Haeserts, Ensor, London, 1957, p. 37). The intricate patterns and colours of the shells found within his mother’s emporium served as a particular source of inspiration, a fascination which is reflected within the luminous palette of Coquilles forms rebondies.

A certain sense of duality emanates from this vibrant still life and illustrates Ensor’s constantly oscillating preoccupations between tradition and fantasy. Despite his academic education at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Ensor’s unconventionality had always led him to favour less traditional subject-matter. The sea creatures, dancers and angels that float joyfully across the background within the present work underline Ensor’s life-long fascination with Symbolism, and endow Coquilles forms rebondies with a fantastical and magical atmosphere. Coquilles forms rebondies was a gift from the artist to Ernestine Mollet, the companion of Ensor’s loyal housekeeper Auguste van Yper (to whom the previous lot, Les Bons livres, was gifted).

Impressionist & Modern Day Sale (Including Picasso Earth & Fire: Unique Ceramics from the Collection of Marina Picasso)

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London