Diane Lesko

  • Ensor in His Milieu

    OSTEND, THE TOWN OF ENSOR’S birth, is a coastal resort 77 miles west of Brussels that is popular for its large expanse of sandy beach. It is famous in history as the site of a devastating three-year siege inflicted by the Spanish at the beginning of the 17th century. Belgian casualties numbered over 130,000 and remains were still being uncovered well into the 20th century. Human skeletons found on the beaches and in the town itself became as familiar as the driftwood and shells which lie partially buried in sand.

    Two photographs reproduced in James Haesaerts’ 1959 book on Ensor show the artist

  • Cézanne’s ‘Bather’ and a Found Self-Portrait

    CÉZANNE’S BATHER, IN THE MUSEUM of Modern Art, typifies a theme central to the master’s oeuvre: single or multiple bathing figures depicted in a landscape setting. The painting deserves our scrutiny on the basis of its power and conviction as a monumental form. It is also likely to be one of the most autobiographical of all the artist’s works; evidence suggests that it was a statement charged with profound personal significance for Cézanne, a painting produced during a crucial period in his life and reflective of a turning-point in his art. Secondary imagery in the landscape and sky of the