Nov 5, 2020
Jul 9, 2007
Nov 5, 2020
Nov 5, 2020
Nov 5, 2020

The Garden of the Rousseau Family

The Garden of the Rousseau Family


James Ensor

(Belgian, 1860–1949)

Oil on fabric

Framed: 96.2 x 82.6 x 9.3 cm (37 7/8 x 32 1/2 x 3 11/16 in.); Unframed: 75.5 x 61 cm (29 3/4 x 24 in.)

Gift of Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. 1950.582

Did you know?

James Ensor painted in a wide variety of styles and techniques, his subjects varying from realistic landscapes like this one to fantastical imagined scenes from literature and theater. The sea in his hometown of Ostend, Belgium, was also a favorite subject.


This painting depicts the garden of the artist’s close friends Ernest and Mariette Rousseau, with whom he often stayed at their home in Brussels, Belgium. He rendered this view of their garden in a technique of bold color applied with strong, broken brushstrokes. It is not known whether Ensor painted this work from life or memory, but the garden, empty of people, hints at feelings of social alienation, a dominant theme in his work.

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