In this painting, James Ensor, a pioneer of Expressionism, employs grotesque masks to both conceal and reveal. The central subjects are his sister, Mariette, in blue hair and green cape, with her top-hatted fiancé, Tan Hée Tseu, a Chinese art dealer from Berlin. The couple’s engagement had caused a scandal in the hometown of the Ensor family and the artist, in retaliation, depicts the town gossips, disguised in their masks, who have come out to gawk and laugh.
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