Art: The Baron of Souvenirs

In Belgium last fortnight an 82-year-old gentleman who has been described as "the greatest modern Belgian artist . . . the first of the Expressionists ... a pre-Surrealist" was reported dead. He was Baron James Ensor, the son of an Englishman who sold sea shells and other souvenirs in a little shop at Ostend.

For 70 years James Ensor, who never set foot out of Belgium, remained an English citizen. In 1930 Belgium's King Albert created Ensor a baron for his contribution to Belgium's esthetic reputation. Ensor became a Belgian. A street was named after him in his native Ostend. A...

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