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Les Bons Juges (The Good Judges)

© Estate of James Ensor / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Estate of James Ensor / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Estate of James Ensor / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

James Ensor

Belgian, 1860-1949

Les Bons Juges (The Good Judges), 1894

etching zinc plate

Edition: 2nd state

image area: 7 1/16 x 9 7/16 inches (17.94 x 23.97 cm); sheet: 14 1/8 x 18 13/16 inches (35.88 x 47.78 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Gift of Frederic P. Norton, 1999

P1999:6.178

More Details

Inscriptions

signature, dated / lower right, in pencil / James Ensor 1894
Frederick P. Norton Stamp / FPN
inscription / lower left, in plate / Ensor
inscription / lower left / Les Bons juges

Provenance

collection of Frederic P. Norton; donated to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 1999

Class

Prints

Work Type

Etching (print)

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

In this etching, James Ensor invented satirical and grotesque imagery to subvert and denounce the institutional authority of the Belgian legal system. Ensor cast himself as an exasperated lawyer addressing five judges and six attorneys on behalf of his two clients sitting in the foreground. The bizarre, mask-like faces of the judges and attorneys convey comical expressions ranging from amusement to confusion to boredom. The judicial representatives’ disinterest in the impassioned speech of the defense attorney, crucifixion scene, and off-balance scales in the upper-left corner suggest that a miscarriage of justice will be the inevitable result of this trial.

Label from Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One: Humor and Satire from the Collection, November 19, 2016–March 19, 2017

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