Lot 17
  • 17

James Ensor

3,000 - 5,000 GBP
6,875 GBP
bidding is closed


  • James Ensor
  • Insectes singuliers  (D., T., E. 46)
  • drypoint
  • plate: 118 by 160mm 4 5/8 by 6 1/4 in
  • sheet: 242 by 301mm 9 1/2 by 11 7/8 in
Drypoint, 1888, the fifth (final) state, printing with burr and plate tone, signed and dated in pencil, titled, countersigned in pencil verso, framed


Ex coll. G. Behaegel, Pittem (not in Lugt)

Catalogue Note

This work, inspired by the poem Die Launen der Verbliebten (1853) by Heinrich Heine, depicts the artist’s forbidden love for Mariette Rousseau, the wife of Ernest Rousseau (see lot 47). The poem reads: [A beetle sits on a hedge, sad and pensive; he has fallen in love with a dragonfly: O dragonfly of my soul! be the spouse of my choice / Marry me, don’t reject my love, I have a golden belly] (translation in Eric Gillis, James Ensor, C G Boerner, New York, 2002, p.74). In this work, Ensor depicts himself as the brooding and seemingly awkward dung-beetle whilst his youthful amour lends her features to the dragonfly.