James Ensor, The Deadly Sins dominated by Death, etching

Les Péchés Capitaux dominés par la Mort, frontispiece

Delteil 126, Taevernier 126, Elesh 131

etching and drypoint (according to Elesh), 1904, on medium-weight ivory Japon paper, the only known state, a fine dark impression with some plate tone, with very wide margins, a proof aside from the 1904 album edition of 100, a soft handling crease lower right, otherwise in excellent condition

P. 90x140mm., S. 268x422mm.

Provenance: a private Belgian collection, ostensibly having been shown at the Exposition PGF in 1935 according to an annotation on the original mount

This small print sums up Ensor's vision of the world, with the entire spectrum of human emotions, drives, and desires laid out in a grating caricature, and Death triumphant overhead, a theme that can be traced back to the Vanities of 17th century Flemish painting.

Whereas the first album edition is on Japan mounted on laid paper, with smaller margins, the present impression is printed on a full sheet of Japan with no support sheet.