James Ensor. Hop-Frog's Revenge (La Vengeance de Hop-Frog). 1898

James Ensor Hop-Frog's Revenge (La Vengeance de Hop-Frog) 1898

  • Not on view

This allegorical image on the theme of class injustice is based on an 1845 short story by Edgar Allen Poe, one of Ensor's favorite authors. It illustrates the revenge of a court jester, a crippled dwarf named Hop-Frog, against an unjust king and his seven corrupt ministers. On the occasion of a masquerade ball, the king is persuaded by the jester to trick his guests by disguising himself and his ministers as chained orangutans. Ensor pictured the final scene of the story, when Hop-Frog has caught the eight "orangutans" on a chandelier hook, hoisted them above the party, and used a torch to set them on fire.

Gallery label from New to the Print Collection: Matisse to Bourgeois, June 13, 2012–January 7, 2013.
Etching and drypoint
plate: 14 1/2 x 9 13/16" (36.9 x 24.9 cm); sheet: 19 11/16 x 12 13/16" (50 x 32.5 cm)
James Ensor, Ostend, Belgium
possibly Jean-Baptiste Van Campenhout
unknown; approx. 50-100
Gift of Victor S. Riesenfeld
Object number
© 2021 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SABAM, Brussels
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