Modern Art Monday Presents: James Ensor, Comical Repast (Banquet of the Starved)

Comical Repast
Photo By Gail

The current title of this painting, Comical Repast (Banquet of the Starved) (1918) reflects the two names it was given during James Ensor’s lifetime. Scholars have interpreted the enigmatic scene as a critique of the German occupation of Belgium during World War I, which the artist experienced firsthand. The grouping around the table evokes the Last Supper, but Christ and the Apostles are replaced by ill-behaved, grotesque and masked figures — some of Ensor’s favorite motifs. Their meager meal, including insects and a raw onion, may evoke the near-famine that Belgians endured. Ensor underscored the theme of mortality by referencing three of his works, depicting rowdy skeletons, in the background.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Advertisements

Please Leave a Comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s