Rose, Rose, Rose à mes yeux. James Ensor and still lifes in Belgium from 1830 to 1930.

James Ensor, Roses, 1892. KMSK Brussel

From 16.12.2023 until 14.04.2024, Mu.ZEE is staging the exhibition Rose, Rose, Rose à mes yeux – James Ensor en het stilleven in België 1830 – 1930. This exhibition, curated by Prof. Bart Verschaffel and Sabine Taevernier, focuses entirely on James Ensor's still life works for the first time. Some thirty works from Ensor's significant production in this area - from the first bourgeois examples to the ‘haunted’ still life works of the 1990s to the ethereal, dreamy examples of the late period – serve as the backbone and calibration for an overview of still life in Belgium between 1830 and 1930. In this period, various talented painters are looking for ways to recharge the genre, which has become an ostentatious, decorative genre without artistic commitment, both in pictorial and iconographic terms. Here, Ensor illustrates the general trend and his own exceptional quality at the same time.

The exhibition first provides an overview of the 19th century, academic, decorative tradition from Antoine Wiertz to Frans Mortelmans, with many forgotten but highly skilled and in their time highly successful painters such as Jean Robie and Hubert Bellis. Particular attention is paid to totally forgotten female painters such as Alice Ronner and Georgette Meunier, as well as the isolated figure of Henri De Braekeleer. This is followed by a selection of painters who, already within the accepted tradition of modernism, focus on still life, but themselves continue to adhere to the customs of the genre such as Louis Thevenet and Léon De Smet. In addition, a number of painters are included who, like Ensor, create highly personal, powerful images by means of their pictorial approach and image composition such as Leon Spilliaert, Gustave Van de Woestyne, Frits Van den Berghe and the much less well-known Marthe Donas and Walter Vaes. The exhibition concludes with artists who blow up the fixed image space of the ‘theatre of things’: Jean Brusselmans and René Magritte.

The exhibition has already been promised the cooperation of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Antwerp and Brussels, the Museum of Fine Arts of Ghent, various Belgian city museums, and numerous private collectors, many of whom often have very few works in public collections. In addition, loans from Dutch, German and American museums and private collections are expected. The exhibition is also accompanied by a publication with, in addition to the catalogue of exhibited works, contributions on the meaning of still life in the oeuvre of James Ensor and the history of still life in Belgium.

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Prices & Rates

teachers paying (if more than 4) € 13,00
A. Adult € 15,00
€ 0,00
A. 0 - 6 years € 0,00
A. 7 - 12 years € 0,00
A. 13 - 18 years € 3,00
A. 19 - 25 years € 3,00

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The museum is open from 10am to 5.30pm.

Closed on Mondays, and on December 25 & January 1.


Romestraat 11
8400 Oostende
T 00 32 (0)59 50 81 18
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