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Belgian avant-gardism, 1887-1889 : Les Vingt, L’Art Moderne and the utopian vision DeFina, Carol Ann 1985

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BELGIAN AVANT-GARDISM, 1887-1889: LES VINGT, L'ART MODERNE AND THE UTOPIAN VISION by CAROL ANN DeFINA B.A., Carlow C o l l e g e , 1969 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES FINE ARTS DEPARTMENT We ac c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as c o n f o r m i n g t o the r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA March 1985 0 C a r o l Ann DeFina, 1985 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and study. I f u r t h e r f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by h i s or her r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s understood t h a t copying or p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be allowed without my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e copying o f t h i s t h e s i s Department of The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 DE-6 (3/81) i i ABSTRACT In 1883 a group of B e l g i a n a r t i s t s wishing to c h a l l e n g e the hegemony of the B r u s s e l s Academy founded the o r g a n i z -a t i o n , Les V i n g t , on the p r i n c i p l e s of e g a l i t a r i a n i s m and a r t i s t i c freedom and e l e c t e d Octave Maus, e d i t o r of the s e l f - p r o c l a i m e d avant-garde j o u r n a l , L'Art Moderne, as i t s s e c r e t a r y . Henceforth, Les Vingt assumed the i d e n t i t y of Belgium's l e a d i n g v i s u a l exponent of modernite and L'Art  Moderne became i t s foremost champion. In a c t u a l i t y , the a l l i a n c e the V i n g t i s t e s formed with L'Art Moderne allowed Octave Maus and h i s c o - e d i t o r Edmund P i c a r d to g a i n c o n t r o l of the group's o p e r a t i o n s . The j o u r n a l ' s e d i t o r s , through t h e i r a s s o c i a t i o n with the B e l g i a n s o c i a l reform movement, had formulated an a r t i s t i c concept they c a l l e d 1'art s o c i a l and Les Vingt was to become the i n c a r n a t i o n of t h i s new d o c t r i n e of s o c i a l a r t . During the p e r i o d of 1887 to 1889, however, while the B e l g i a n workers' movement erupted i n a s u c c e s s i o n of s t r i k e s and demonstrations, Maus and P i c a r d r a d i c a l l y changed t h e i r s t r a t e g y i n marketing Les Vingt to i t s viewing p u b l i c . They campaigned f o r a r e v i s e d , " d e p o l i t i c i z e d " avant-garde iden-t i t y f o r the group, and the model they chose to r e p r e s e n t t h i s new i d e n t i t y was French d i v i s i o n i s m . The group's a p p r o p r i a t i o n of d i v i s i o n i s m , however, s i g n i f i e d a f o r -f e i t u r e of many of the group's o r i g i n a l i d e a l s . Furthermore, i i i i t became a p o i n t of c o n f l i c t f o r those V i n g t i s t e s who chose t o remain l o y a l t o t h e i r own s t y l e s . T h i s c o n f l i c t i s e v i d e n t i n the case of James Ensor, one of the group's i m p o r t a n t f o u n d i n g members. D u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d , he d e v e l o p e d h i s own p e r s o n a l imagery t h a t was a s y n t h e s i s of F l e m i s h and modern themes and m o t i f s . T h i s imagery made a b o l d , c r i t i c a l a t t a c k upon Les V i n g t ' s c a p i t u l a t i o n t o French d i v i s i o n i s m , which s i g n i f i e d an a c q u i -esence t o the a r d e n t l y F r a n c o p h i l e t a s t e s of the B r u s s e l s b o u r g e o i s i e . The f o c u s of t h i s t h e s i s i s an a n a l y s i s of Les V i n g t ' s avant-garde i d e n t i t y as i t e v o l v e d out of i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h L ' A r t Moderne, and how t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p l e d t o the im--p o r t a t i o n of d i v i s i o n i s m . Ensor's c o n f l i c t w i t h Les V i n g t and h i s p r o v o c a t i v e F l e m i s h imagery i s a l s o examined.as a means of a s s e s s i n g the s i g n i f i c a n c e of Les V i n g t ' s a d o p t i o n of the French a r t s t y l e . i v TABLE OF CONTENTS A b s t r a c t i i L i s t of I l l u s t r a t i o n s v Acknowledgements v i I n t r o d u c t i o n 1 Chapter I . The B e l g i a n S o c i a l i s t Movement, L ' A r t Moderne's Concept of L ' A r t  S o c i a l and Les V i n g t ' s Avant-Garde I d e n t i t y 10 F o o t n o t e s 31 I I . S t y l e and I d e o l o g y : I m p r e s s i o n -ism, M o d e r n i t e and Anarchism 36 F o o t n o t e s 48 I I I . 1 8 8 7 — T h e year of La Grande J a t t e : The Chimera of R e v o l u t -i o n and the V i s i o n of U t o p i a 52 F o o t n o t e s 90 IV. C o n c l u s i o n — T h e S a l o n of 1889: The V i c t o r y of Neo-Impression-ism and the Demise of E n s o r , the " P e r f e c t A n a r c h i s t " 97 F o o t n o t e s 119 I l l u s t r a t i o n s 123 S e l e c t e d B i b l i o g r a p h y 130 V LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS F i g u r e Page 1. Geores S e u r a t . Sunday A f t e r n o o n on the  I s l a n d of La Grande J a t t e (photo: Sut-t e r , The N e o - I m p r e s s i o n i s t s , p. 37) 123 2. James Ensor. The E n t r y of C h r i s t i n t o  J e r u s a l e m (photo: H a e s a e r t s , James En- sor , p. 159) 124 3. James Ens o r . The Temptation of S t . Anthony (photo: B r o o k l y n Museum, B e l - g i a n A r t , p. 22) 125 4. James Ensor. The S t r i k e (photo: F a r -mer, Ensor , p i . 47) 126 5. James Ens o r . C h r i s t ' s E n t r y i n t o  B r u s s e l s i n 1889 (photo: M i n i s t e r i e van N e d e r t h l a n d s e , A u d i o - v i s u a l s y s -tem Culturama SGDG 688. 766 ) 127 6. Henry Van de V e l d e . The Woman at the  Window -(photo: H e r b e r t , Neo-Impression-ism , p. 190) 128 7. W i l l y F i n c h . The Racecourse a t Ostend (photo: Rewald, P o s t - I m p r e s s i o n i s m , p. 113 ) 129 v i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS T h i s t h e s i s has been completed w i t h the s u p p o r t and a s s i s t a n c e of many p e o p l e . I am i n d e b t e d t o my t h e s i s a d v i s o r s , Dr. David S o l k i n and Dr. Serge G u i l b a u t , f o r t h e i r generous c o n t r i b u t i o n of t i m e , s c h o l a r l y i n s i g h t s and g uidance i n s e e i n g t h i s work t o c o m p l e t i o n . I would a l s o l i k e t o thank the s t a f f of the I n t e r -l i b r a r y Loans Department of the U.B.C. L i b r a r y f o r t h e i r a s s i s t a n c e i n o b t a i n i n g n e c e s s a r y r e s e a r c h m a t e r i a l s and the s t a f f of the B i b l i o t h e q u e Royale i n B r u s s e l s f o r g i v i n g me acc e s s t o i m p o r t a n t p r i m a r y s o u r c e m a t e r i a l s . F i n a l l y , my s i n c e r e thanks t o my f r i e n d s J u d i t h I n c e , J i l l P o l l a c k and Peggy W e b b - W h i t t a l l , my husband J i m , and my daughter R a c h e l , f o r t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o and s u p p o r t of t h i s p r o j e c t . t 1 INTRODUCTION In the f a l l of 1883 L ' A r t Moderne, a B e l g i a n a r t p u b l i -c a t i o n which was d e f i n e d by i t s e d i t o r s as the c o u n t r y ' s l e a d i n g a vant-garde j o u r n a l , announced the i n a u g u r a t i o n of the a r t i s t s ' group, Les V i n g t . 1 With the announcement, the j o u r n a l i s s u e d the statement t h a t the group r e p r e s e n t e . . .en r e a l i t e t o u t e l a B e l g i q u e a r t i s t i q u e n o u v e l l e , e t s e r a pour l e s a r t s p l a s -t i q u e s l e c e n t r e du m a g n i f i q u e mouvement en avant garde q u i dans tous l e s domains de 1 ' a r t , emporte n o t r e pays, 2 H e n c e f o r t h , Les V i n g t assumed the i d e n t i t y of b e i n g B e l -gium's l e a d i n g v i s u a l exponent of modernite and. L' A r t Moderne became i t s foremost champion. Because Les V i n g t was a b l e t o s e c u r e a s t r o n g a l l i a n c e w i t h t h i s prominent j o u r n a l , i t was to become one of the most i m p o r t a n t and e n d u r i n g a r t -i s t i c o r g a n i z a t i o n s i n Europe i n the l a t e n i n e t e e n t h cen-t u r y . The group's membership and s u p p o r t e r s belonged t o the g e n e r a t i o n of B e l g i a n i n t e l l e c t u a l s who h e l p e d t o b r i n g about a r e n a i s s a n c e i n the B e l g i a n a r t s . From t h i s g e n e r a t i o n of i n t e l l e c t u a l s d i v e r s e groups formed a l l i a n c e s w i t h one a n o t h e r , brought t o g e t h e r d i f f e r e n t branches of the a r t s , adopted v a r i o u s m o dernist s t y l e s and o f t e n a l i g n e d themselves w i t h the f o r c e s of s o c i a l change. M o t i v a t i o n f o r t h i s a c t i v i t y stemmed, at l e a s t i n p a r t , from a d e s i r e t o e s t a b l i s h an i n t e r n a t i o n a l 2 r e p u t a t i o n f o r B e l g i a n a r t i s t s r i v a l l i n g t h a t of t h e i r P a r i s i a n c o u n t e r p a r t s . However, t h i s n i n e t e e n t h c e n t -u r y r e n a i s s a n c e of the a r t s i n Belgium would have been i n c o n c e i v a b l e w i t h o u t the enormous g e n e r a t i v e f o r c e of an i n c e n d i a r y s o c i a l c l i m a t e . The 1880's i n Belgium were a decade when ener-g e t i c a r t i s t i c a c t i v i t y was g i v e n d i r e c t i o n and impetus from s o c i a l t e n s i o n s which a t times h e i g h t e n e d almost to the p o i n t of r e v o l u t i o n . Though l i t t l e was a c t u a l l y a c c o m p l i s h e d i n the way of s o c i a l r e f o r m , the decade w i t n e s s e d t h e f i n a l e r o s i o n of a s o c i a l f a b r i c unable to accommodate i t s e l f t o the e f f e c t s of a c c e l e r a t e d i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n . In the mid-80's the attempt t o e s t a b l i s h a cohes-i v e s o c i a l i s t movement i n Belgium was c o n s o l i d a t e d . For the f i r s t t i m e , d i v e r s e s e c t o r s of workers' coop-e r a t i v e s and g u i l d s saw themselves as a p o l i t i c a l l y -m o t i v a t e d s o c i a l c l a s s u n i t e d i n t h e i r c o n c e r n f o r the i s s u e of u n i v e r s a l s u f f r a g e . T h i s l e d t o wide-s p r e a d v i o l e n c e , s t r i k e s and d e m o n s t r a t i o n s . Modern v a l u e s and i d e a s of a p r o l e t a r i a t a r i s i n g w i t h i n a h i g h l y i n d u s t r i a l i z e d S t a t e c l a s h e d w i t h a c u l t u r e bound up w i t h C a t h o l i c t r a d i t i o n a l i s m . I n e v i t a b l y , t h e s e c o n f l i c t s s p i l l e d over i n t o the a r t i s t i c s phere. These t e n s i o n s were m a n i f e s t i n the n a t u r e of Les 3 V i n g t ' s i n a u g u r a t i o n - The group was l a r g e l y c o m p r ised of d e f e c t o r s from the a r t i s t s ' group, L ' E s s o r , e s t a b -l i s h e d i n 1881. The f o u n d i n g V i n g t i s t e s c r i t i c i z e d L ' E s s o r f o r u s i n g a j u r y system and accused i t of c a t e r -i n g t o the t a s t e s of the b o u r g e o i s i e . 3 L ' A r t Moderne s u p p o r t e d t h i s condemnation by d e c l a r i n g t h a t L'Essor was no more than the "antechamber of the S a l o n s . " 4 T h i s c r i t i c a l v i e w p o i n t s e r v e d t o e s t a b l i s h the g u i d e -l i n e s upon which the V i n g t i s t e s s t r u c t u r e d t h e i r organ-i z a t i o n . Moreover, t h i s c r i t i c a l s t a n c e u n d e r s c o r e d L ' A r t Moderne's c l a i m s t h a t Les V i n g t had the a b i l i t y t o s e r v e as Belgium's u n r i v a l l e d vanguard. In c o n t r a s t w i t h L ' E s s o r , Les V i n g t committed i t s e l f t o the i d e a l s of i n d i v i d u a l i s m i n a r t i s t i c e x p r e s -s i o n and e g a l i t a r i a n t r e a t m e n t f o r a l l i t s members. However, the most c r i t i c a l f a c e t of Les V i n g t ' s avant-garde i d e n t i t y came not from w i t h i n the group i t s e l f , but r a t h e r from i t s a f f i l i a t i o n w i t h L '.Art Moderne, whose e d i t o r s , through t h e i r a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h the s o c i a l r e f o r m movement had f o r m u l a t e d a d o c t r i n e they c o i n e d , " 1 ' a r t s o c i a l . " For the e d i t o r s of L ' A r t Moderne  Les V i n g t was t o become the i n c a r n a t i o n of t h e i r doc-t r i n e of s o c i a l a r t . At Les V i n g t ' s f i r s t e x h i b i t i o n , Edmund P i c a r d , one of L ' A r t Moderne's c h i e f e d i t o r s , s e r v e d as the 4 group's p r i n c i p a l speaker. In h i s l e c t u r e he s e t out the ways i n which Les V i n g t ' s mandate was e q u i v a l e n t t o the i d e a l s c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n the d o c t r i n e of 1 ' a r t  s o c i a l . F u rthermore, as the spokesman f o r the V i n g t i s t e s , h i s words i m p l i e d a c h a l l e n g e not o n l y t o a l l the r e p -r e s e n t a t i v e s of o f f i c i a l i s m i n a r t , but a l s o to a l l those who s t o o d f o r any form of s o c i a l i n e q u a l i t y or i n j u s t i c e : N otre i d e e dominante, c ' e s t c e l l e d ' a f f r a n c h i s s e -ment. Nous r e p r e s e n t o n s 1 ' a r t nouveau, avec sa l i b e r t e a b s o l u e d 1 a l l u r e s e t de tendances, avec ses c a r a c t e r e s de m o d e r n i t e . . . . Nous voulons l ' a r t l i b r e , c ' e s t p o u r q u o i nous combattrons a o u t r a n c e ceux q u i l e v e u l e n t e s c l a v e . 5 A l t h o u g h the i d e a l s of l i b e r t a r i a n i s m and e g a l -i t a r i a n i s m became the b a s i s of Les V i n g t ' s p u b l i c image, i t i s s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t the group's commitment t o them appears t o have d i m i n i s h e d c o n s i d e r a b l y by 1887. I t was i n t h a t year t h a t the group i n v i t e d Georges S e u r a t to e x h i b i t h i s N e o - I m p r e s s i o n i s t work, La Grande J a t t e , at i t s annual s a l o n . T h e r e a f t e r , d i v -i s i o n i s m became the p r i m a r y a e s t h e t i c model a s s o c i a -t e d w i t h Les V i n g t f o r the next s e v e r a l y e a r s . T h i s w h o l e s a l e a d o p t i o n of a s i n g l e a e s t h e t i c model was i n d i r e c t c o n t r a d i c t i o n t o the group's o r i g i n a l p ledge t o encourage a r t i s t i c e c l e c t i c i s m . I t a l s o i m p l i e d a d e v a l u a t i o n of o t h e r more i n d i g e n o u s a r t forms r e p r e -s e n t e d w i t h i n the membership. As a consequence, d i v i -5 s i o n i s m became a p o i n t of c o n f l i c t f o r some of those V i n g t i s t e s who chose t o remain l o y a l t o t h e i r p r e v i o u s s t y l e s . T h i s c o n f l i c t was nowhere more e v i d e n t than i n the group's r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h James Ensor, one of i t s most i m p o r t a n t f o u n d i n g members. D u r i n g the p e r i o d of Les V i n g t ' s i n f a t u a t i o n w i t h French Neo-Impressionism, E n s o r 1 s images, p a r t i c u l a r l y h i s l a r g e p a i n t i n g , C h r i s t ' s  E n t r y i n t o B r u s s e l s i n 1889, r e p r e s e n t e d a r e s u r r e c t i o n of F l e m i s h a e s t h e t i c s . H i s p a i n t i n g s made a b o l d , c r i t i c a l a t t a c k upon the group's c a p i t u l a t i o n t o f o r e i g n models and abandonment of i t s i n a u g u r a l p r i n c i p l e s . The d i s c r e p a n c i e s between Ensor's v i s i o n of m o d e r n i t y and t h a t o f Les V i n g t ' s N e o - I m p r e s s i o n i s t s u l t i m a t e l y l e d t o the group's w i t h d r a w a l of s u p p o r t f o r Ensor and i t s repud-i a t i o n of h i s work. One c r i t i c a l d i f f e r e n c e between Ensor's and the N e o - I m p r e s s i o n i s t s ' a e s t h e t i c s was t h a t w h i l e E n sor's F l e m i s h - d e r i v e d images c o n t a i n e d v i v i d r e f e r e n c e s t o the s o c i a l d i s r u p t i o n s which dominated t h i s p e r i o d , the U t o p i a n imagery of the B e l g i a n Neo-I m p r e s s i o n i s t s was n o t i c e a b l y d e v o i d of any comparable contemporary r e f e r e n c e s . Les V i n g t ' s a p p r o p r i a t i o n of d i v i s i o n i s m and f o r -f e i t u r e o f i t s i n a u g u r a l p r i n c i p l e s r a i s e s a g r e a t many q u e s t i o n s about the f u n c t i o n i n g of the group, p a r t i c -6 u l a r l y i n l i g h t of the f a c t t h a t t h e s e events c o i n c i d e d c l o s e l y w i t h a p e r i o d of g r e a t s o c i a l d i s r u p t i o n i n the c o u n t r y . Why was d i v i s i o n i s m adopted so r e a d i l y by so many of the V i n g t i s t e s , even though d o i n g so t h r e a t e n e d the i n t e g r i t y of the group? How was t h i s Utopian image c r e a t e d from a f o r e i g n a e s t h e t i c r e l e v a n t t o a Belgium t h a t was f a c i n g a c o n t i n u o u s s u c c e s s i o n of v i o l e n t s t r i k e s and d e m o n s t r a t i o n s ? How was d i v -i s i o n i s m connected t o L ' A r t Moderne's d o c t r i n e of s o c i a l a r t ? Why were Ensor's images a t h r e a t t o the Utopian model of the B e l g i a n N e o - I m p r e s s i o n i s t s ? Two r e c e n t a r t h i s t o r i c a l s t u d i e s have c o n t r i b u t e d s i g n i f i c a n t l y t o c l a r i f y i n g c e r t a i n a s p e c t s of Les V i n g t ' s o p e r a t i o n s . However, n e i t h e r of t h e s e works d e a l a d e q u a t e l y w i t h the h i s t o r i c a l and p o l i t i c a l i s s u e s r e l e v a n t t o Les  V i n g t ' s development. Susan Canning's d i s s e r t a t i o n , "A H i s t o r y and C r i t i c a l Review of the S a l o n s of Les V i n g t , 1884-1893," d e a l s e s s e n t i a l l y w i t h the a r t i s t i c i s s u e s of Les V i n g t ' s o p e r a t i o n s . I t p r o v i d e s a h i g h l y - d e t a i l e d , c h r o n o l o g i c a l account of the group's annual shows, d e s c r i p -t i o n s of the works t h a t were e x h i b i t e d and the c r i t i c a l r e s p o n s e s of the r e v i e w e r s . In her d i s s e r t a t i o n , "Les XX and B e l g i a n Avant-Gardism, 1868-1894," Jane B l o c k p r e s e n t s an e x c e l l e n t a n a l y s i s of Les V i n g t ' s a c t i v i t i e s w i t h i n the l a r g e r scope of l a t e 7 n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y avant-garde a c t i v i t y i n Belgium. In her i n t r o d u c t i o n she s t a t e s t h a t her d i s s e r t a t i o n attempts to d e a l w i t h the p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l m i l i e u as i t r e l a t e s t o the group's a r t i s t i c aims. While B l o c k b r i n g s t o l i g h t some of the i m p o r t a n t i s s u e s r e g a r d i n g Les V i n g t ' s r e l a t -i o n s h i p w i t h L ' A r t Moderne and touches upon some of the p o l i t i c a l r a m i f i c a t i o n s of the group's avant-garde i d e n t i t y , she f a i l s t o address the s p e c i f i c s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l i s s u e s t h a t are c r i t i c a l t o an u n d e r s t a n d i n g of t h i s p e r i o d . S p e c i f i c a l l y , she does not attempt t o d i s c u s s t h e s e i s s u e s i n r e g a r d t o Les V i n g t ? s in v o l v e m e n t w i t h Neo-I m p r e s s i o n i s m . The purpose of t h i s t h e s i s i s t o f o c u s upon an a n a l y s i s of the development of Les V i n g t ' s avant-garde i d e n t i t y as i t e v o l v e d out of i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h the j o u r n a l , L ' A r t Moderne, and s p e c i f i c a l l y , how t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p may have l e d t o the i m p o r t a t i o n of French Neo-Impressionism. T h i s t h e s i s proposes t h a t d i v i s i o n i s m 1 s main a t t r a c t i o n was t h a t i t o f f e r e d a means of c r e a t i n g an image f o r the V i n g t i s t e s , amidst s e r i o u s s o c i a l u p h e a v a l , t h a t appeared at once modern and y e t p o l i t i c a l l y n e u t r a l ; t h a t appeared avant-garde and y e t g a r n e r e d p u b l i c sup-p o r t . Ensor's c o n f l i c t w i t h the group s e r v e s as an i m p o r t a n t i n v e s t i g a t i v e t o o l i n u n r a v e l l i n g t h e s e complex q u e s t i o n s . C e r t a i n l y , i t r e v e a l s the d i c h o t o m i e s and 8 c o n t r a d i c t i o n s t h a t e x i s t e d between the group's p u b l i c i d e n t i t y and the a c t u a l i t i e s of i t s o p e r a t i o n s . From t h i s e x a m i n a t i o n i t may then be p o s s i b l e t o d i s c o v e r why a v a n t - g a r d i s m i n Belgium was c o m p e l l e d t o adopt the model of the N e o - I m p r e s s i o n i s t u t o p i a i n response to the r e a l i t i e s of s o c i a l u p h e a v a l . 9 FOOTNOTES - INTRODUCTION In Susan Marie Canning's, "A H i s t o r y and C r i t i c a l Review of the Salons of 'Les Vingt', 1884-1893" (Ph.D. d i s s . , The Pennsylvania State U n i v e r s i t y , 1980), p.27 the formation of the group i s d e s c r i b e d i n t h i s way: "at the Taverne Guillaume i n B r u s s e l s , t h i r -teen a r t i s t s — F r a n z C h a r l e t , Guillaume Vogels, Jean D e l v i n , Paul Dubois, James Ensor, Fernand Khnopff, Per-i c l e s P a n t a z i s , Franz Simons, Gustave Vaniase, Theo Van Rysselberghe, Guillaume Van Strydonck, and Theo-dore Verstraete--met and signed t h e i r names to a f o l i o marked with the double X which was to become t h e i r symbol. W i l l y F i n c h and Dario de Regoyos sent t h e i r acceptance by l e t t e r . The group was completed with the a d d i t i o n of A c h i l l e Chainaye, Jef Lambeaux, W i l l y S c h o l -bach, P i e t Verhaert, and Rudolf Wystman. Although they had o r i g i n a l l y asked Lucien Solvay to be t h e i r s e c r e t a r y , when they met on January 4 of the f o l l o w i n g year to s i g n t h e i r o f f i c i a l c h a r t e r , one of the e d i t o r s of L'Art  Moderne, Octave Maus, had assumed the r o l e . . . . " 2 " P e t i t e Chronique," L'Art Moderne I I I (October 7, 1883): 321. F r a n c i n e - C l a i r e Legrand, Le Groupe des XX et son  temps ( B r u s s e l s : Musees royaux des Beaux-Arts de B e l -gique, 1962), p.17, makes mention of t h i s a t t i t u d e taken by L'Essor's d e f e c t o r s . See a l s o , Jane Block, "Les XX and B e l g i a n Avant-Gardism, 1868-1894," 2 v o l s . (Ph.D. d i s s . , The U n i v e r s i t y of Michigan, 1980), pp. 35-43, d i s c u s s e s at l e n g t h the r e l a t i o n s h i p of Les Vingt to L'Essor, empha-s i z i n g the V i n g t i s t e s ' g e n e r a l l y c r i t i c a l a t t i t u d e toward L'Essor. "L'Essor V l l l e m e e x p o s i t i o n a nnuelle, "L'Art  Moderne IV (January 13, 1884): 12. 5 " L ' A r t jeune," L'Art Moderne IV (March 9, 1884): 74. In t h i s a r t i c l e , signed by Edmund P i c a r d , t h i s quote i s c i t e d from the j o u r n a l L'Art L i b r e - - a defunct avant-garde j o u r n a l that was viewed as an important antecedent f o r Les V i n g t . In the a r t i c l e that summarized P i c a r d 1 s p u b l i c l e c t u r e , h i s r e f e r e n c e to t h i s quote was presented i n such a way that these ideas were meant to r e l a t e to the p r i n c i p l e s of Les Vingt as much as to L'Art L i b r e . 10 CHAPTER ONE THE BELGIAN SOCIALIST MOVEMENT, L'ART MODERNE'S CONCEPT OF L'ART SOCIAL AND LES VINGT'S AVANT-GARDE IDENTITY Even b e f o r e the e s t a b l i s h m e n t of a f r e e independent S t a t e i n 1830, two p a r t i e s had dominated B e l g i a n p o l i t i c s : the L i b e r a l s , who were s t r o n g l y a n t i c l e r i c a l ; and the C a t h o l i c s , who sought t o m a i n t a i n Belgium's t r a d i t i o n -a l l y s t r o n g a f f i l i a t i o n s between Church and S t a t e . To-g e t h e r , they s h a r e d p o l i t i c a l c o n t r o l of the c o u n t r y , and drew t h e i r s u p p o r t e r s from the same c l a s s e s - - t h o s e who owned l a n d and p a i d t a x e s . As r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of these same c l a s s e s , the C a t h o l i c and the L i b e r a l p a r -l i a m e n t a r i a n s had always been i n complete agreement on at l e a s t one i s s u e - - t h a t of s o c i a l r e f o r m . More p r e -c i s e l y , the i s s u e o f s o c i a l r e f o r m d i d not e x i s t f o r them.i I t was o n l y as the e f f o r t s of the s o c i a l i s t s p i c k e d up momentum d u r i n g the e a r l y y e a r s of the 1880's t h a t i s s u e s such as poor working c o n d i t i o n s , unemployment, and u n i v e r s a l s u f f r a g e became p r i m a r y p o l i t i c a l con-s i d e r a t i o n s t h a t c o u l d no l o n g e r be i g n o r e d . As the s o c i a l l y - d i s r u p t i v e e v e n ts of the e i g h t i e s u n f o l d e d , these p r e s s i n g s o c i a l i s s u e s had t o be reckoned w i t h . The way i n which they were f a c e d i s e v i d e n t not o n l y i n the p o l i t i c a l s p h e r e , but a l s o i n the s p e c i f i c n a t u r e of the c u l t u r a l avant-garde t h a t p r o s p e r e d i n the 11 f e r t i l e grounds of s o c i a l d i s s e n s i o n . As e a r l y as 1881, e f f o r t s made by the B e l g i a n i n t e l l i g e n t s i a towards implementing a r e v i v a l i n the B e l g i a n a r t s were b e g i n n i n g t o p o l a r i z e i n t o two a n t i -t h e t i c a l p h i l o s o p h i c a l camps. T a k i n g p a r t of i t s impetus from the s o c i a l i s t movement, L ' A r t Moderne and i t s con-t r i b u t o r s f a s h i o n e d an avant-garde i d e n t i t y from the language of the new p o l i t i c a l L e f t . 2 T h e i r aim was t o embrace and encourage a l l a r t t h a t was n a t i o n a l i s t i c and s o c i a l - m i n d e d . T h e i r opponents, l e d by Max W a l l e r , a l i g n e d themselves w i t h the j o u r n a l La_ Jeune B e l g i q u e and promoted the P a r n a s s i a n a e s t h e t i c of " a r t f o r a r t ' s sake" i m p o r t e d from France.3 The B e l g i a n h i s t o r i a n H e n r i P i r e n n e makes note of the s i g n i f i c a n t l i n k between the a r t i s t i c r e n a i s s a n c e of the 1880's i n the f o u n d i n g of these two opp o s i n g groups and the s o c i a l r e f o r m movement. As P i r e n n e p o i n t s o u t , mem-bers of both groups were r e v o l t i n g a g a i n s t t h e i r b o u r g e o i s backgrounds, and t h e r e e x i s t e d one of those u n c o n s c i o u s c o r r e s p o n d -e n c e s — t h a t h i s t o r y t a k e s note of so o f t e n w i t h o u t b e i n g a b l e t o e x p l a i n - between t h e i r r e v o l t a g a i n s t [ t h e b o u r g e o i s i e ] and the d e m o c r a t i c p r e s s u r e under which the s u f f r a g e system would soon cease.4 But t h i s c l o s e c o n n e c t i o n between p o l i t i c s and a r t was f a r from b e i n g o n l y an "unconscious c o r r e s p o n d e n c e . " In f a c t , a c o n c e r t e d e f f o r t was made t o e s t a b l i s h an a l l i a n c e between the e f f o r t s of the c u l t u r a l vanguard and the 12 s o c i a l r e f o r m movement. Two of those i n v o l v e d i n t h i s campaign were prominent sons of the b o u r g e o i s i e , Edmund P i c a r d and Octave M a u s — both l a w y e r s and s e l f - s t y l e d c r i t i c s . In the p r o c e s s of e s t a b l i s h i n g the j o u r n a l , L ' A r t Moderne, they i n t e n t i o n -a l l y i n f u s e d t h e i r r e v i v a l of the a r t s w i t h the a r t i c u l -a t i o n s of the nasce n t s o c i a l i s t movement. T h e i r i n a u g u r a l i s s u e of March, 1881, o u t l i n e d these j o u r n a l i s t i c b i a s e s i n a language t h a t would become the b a s i s of t h e i r a v a n t-garde i d e o l o g y : 5 Nous commengons a u j o u r d ' h u i ce j o u r n a l sans aucun p a r t i p r i s d ' e c o l e , sans p r e o c c u p a t i o n aucune de r e g i e , de code ou de symbole. . . . L ' a r t e s t 1 ' a c t i o n , e t e r n e l l e m e n t spontanee e t l i b r e de 1'homme sur son m i l i e u , pour l e t r a n s f o r m e r , l e t r a n s f i g u e r , l e conformer a une i d e e t o u j o u r s n o u v e l l e . Nous voulons a p l a n i r l e s v o i e s , f a c i l i t e r l e s r a p p o r t s e n t r e l e s a r t i s t e s et l e p u b l i c , a f i n que l ' a r t a c q u i e r e chaque j o u r davantage l a b i e n f a i s a n t e i n f l u e n c e s o c i a l e . . . .6 T h i s language, which m a r r i e d s o c i a l moralism and a r t i s t i c i n v e n t i v e n e s s , was used t o g i v e credence t o the j o u r n a l ' s c l a i m of l e a d e r s h i p f o r the new c u l t u r a l avant-garde. I t was a d i s c o u r s e couched i n l o f t y i d e a l s and tempered w i t h the p a l l i a t i v e of d i s i n t e r e s t e d e c l e c t i c i s m . The e d i t o r s ' i n s i s t e n c e on j o u r n a l i s t i c i m p a r t i a l i t y was a s t r a t e g y which would a l l o w them t o manoeuver through a wide range of a e s t h e t i c p o s s i b i l i t i e s "sans aucun p a r t i p r i s d ' e c o l e . " They wr o t e : Nous c o n s i d e r o n s n o t r e m i s s i o n comme p l u s u t i l e e t p l u s haute de f l a t t e r l e s v a n i t e s e t l e s i n t e r e t s 13 p a r t i c u l i e r s . L ' a r t a une p o r t e e s o c i a l e q u i l e met au dessus des i n d i v i d u a l i t e s e t de l e u r s p r e -o c c u p a t i o n s frequemme'nt m e s q u i n e s . 7 The c h i e f t h e o r i s t r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h i s d i s c o u r s e was Edmund P i c a r d . No matter who s i g n e d the a r t i c l e s p u b l i s h e d i n L ' A r t Moderne or c l a i m e d e d i t o r s h i p of the j o u r n a l , . . . the p u b l i c was not f o o l e d . For everyone i t was P i c a r d ' s r e v i e w . . . . P i c a r d ' s band..-.-... P i c a r d ' s t r a i n e e s i n a r t c r i t i c i s m . 8 P i c a r d ' s e f f o r t s t o a l i g n the a c t i v i t i e s of h i s c u l -t u r a l vanguard t o those of the s o c i a l i s t s was f a s h i o n e d i n t o a d o c t r i n e t h a t he r e f e r r e d t o as " 1 ' a r t s o c i a l . " The g o a l of a r t , he wrote, s h o u l d be " t o a m e l i o r a t e , to combat, and t o ennoble."9 I t s h o u l d a l s o be n a t i o n a l - . : i s t i c and u t i l i t a r i a n . In 1883 he took the o p p o r t u n i t y t o se c u r e h i s p o s i t i o n p u b l i c l y as the l e a d i n g p a t r o n of 1 ' a r t s o c i a l . The j u r y charged w i t h awarding the q u i n q u e n n i a l p r i z e f o r B e l g i a n l i t e r a t u r e had not reached an a b s o l u t e m a j o r i t y i n the vot e which would have a l l o w e d i t t o award the p r i z e t o C a m i l l e Lemonnier, an i m p o r t a n t l e a d e r i n the B e l g i a n a r t s movement. A g r e a t f u r o r arose among Lemonnier's s u p p o r t e r s i n the l i t e r a r y community. In p r o t e s t a g a i n s t the j u r o r s ' d e c i s i o n , La Jeune B e l g i q u e o r g a n i z e d a banquet t o honour Lemonnier. Because P i c a r d and h i s f o l l o w e r s were, at the t i m e , s t i l l on a m i c a b l e terms w i t h t h i s j o u r n a l ' s s u p p o r t e r s , they were i n v i t e d t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n the event. More 14 than two hundred w r i t e r s and v i s u a l a r t i s t s were p r e s e n t . P i c a r d , one of the main speakers at the ceremony, made a p o i n t of c o u p l i n g h i s a t t a c k a g a i n s t the j u r o r s of 1 ' o f f i c i a l i s m e w i t h a p l e a f o r 1 ' a r t s o c i a l , 1 0 knowing f u l l w e l l t h a t most of those p r e s e n t who were a s s o c i a t e d w i t h La Jeune B e l g i q u e viewed t h i s d o c t r i n e as t a n t a -mount t o " l a n e g a t i o n meme de l ' a r t . " H H i s statement s e r v e d two purposes: f i r s t , i t e s t a b l i s h e d L ' A r t Moderne's a l i g n m e n t w i t h the most p r o g r e s s i v e s o c i a l e f f o r t s of the p e r i o d ; s e c o n d l y , i t s e r v e d t o a g g r a n d i z e h i s p e r s o n a l p o l i t i c a l a m b i t i o n s . " L ' a r t s o c i a l " became P i c a r d ' s c h e v a l de b a t a i l l e i n the e l e c t i o n s he p a r t i c i p a t e d i n as a L i b e r a l c a n d i d a t e d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d . I t r e p r e s e n t e d an i d e o l o g i c a l p o s i t i o n which c o u l d be t a i l o r e d t o any of the numerous poses he chose t o a s s u m e — a r t c r i t i c , a u t h o r , p o l i t i c a l c a n d i d a t e or e d i t o r . In l i n e w i t h h i s s t a n c e of i m p a r t i a l i t y , P i c a r d i n t e n t i o n a l l y l e f t the d o c t r i n e u n s p e c i f i e d , r e f u s i n g to commit h i m s e l f t o a s p e c i f i c a e s t h e t i c programme t h a t would f u l f i l l t he r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r a s o c i a l a r t . I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t , however, t h a t he chose t o o u t l i n e some of the fundamental i d e a s he h e l d c o n c e r n i n g 1 ' a r t s o c i a l i n the a r t i c l e s he p u b l i s h e d i n L ' A r t Moderne d u r i n g the f i r s t e x h i b i t i o n of Les V i n g t : 15 Nous c r e e r o n s a l o r s un a r t de n a t u r e , p r i m i t i f , sans a f f e c t a t i o n d 1aucune s o r t e ; un a r t s ' e l o i g n a n t du p a s t i c h e e t de l a decadence; un a r t c o m p r e h e n s i b l e au p l u s grand nombre, me s e m b l e - t - i l . 1 ^ He emphasized the n e c e s s i t y of the modern a r t i s t ' s com-mitment to i m p r o v i n g h i s s o c i e t y : Depuis longtemps d e j a , mon e s p r i t e s t t r o u b l e par c e t t e i d e e , q u ' i n s e n s i b l e m e n t l e s a r t i s t e s se r e t i r e n t e t se d e s i n t e r e s s e n t du m i l i e u s o c i a l ou i l s v i v e n t . J ' a i l a c r a i n t e q u ' i l s ne s o i e n t p r i s un j o u r , par l a s o c i e t e , pour un c l a n d ' e t r e s i n u t i l e s , n'ayant p l u s de c o n t a c t avec e l l e , p a r l a n t une langue c o m p r e h e n s i b l e d'eux s e u l s , se r e n f e r m a n t dans une espece de r e l i g i o n , a l l a n t , s ' e f f a c a n t chaque j o u r e t ne f a i s a n t p l u s que peu de p r o s e l y t e s . 1 4 In the opening remarks of h i s a r t i c l e of March 9, e n t i t l e d " L ' A r t jeune," he made an u n e q u i v o c a l c o r r e s p o n d e n c e between the g o a l s o f s o c i a l r e f o r m and those of modern a r t . He w r o t e , Nous v i v o n s c e r t a i n e m e n t a une epoque de t r a n s i -t i o n , dans une s o c i e t e b o u l e v e r s e e , q u i a en f a c e d ' e l l e l e s p l u s grands e t l e s p l u s t e r r i b l e s problemes a r e s o u d r e , . . . . Entendons-nous; j e ne veux pas que l ' a r t a r r i v e a p a r l e r p a t o i s a f i n d ' a v o i r l e p l u s d ' a u d i t e u r s p o s s i b l e ; . . mais que, par l a n a i v e t e , l a s i m p l i c i t e e t l ' i n t e n s i t e de 1 ' e x p r e s s i o n , i l a t t i r e a l u i ce que j ' a p p e l l e r a i l e s d e s h e r i t e s . 1 5 These i d e a s which P i c a r d f o r m u l a t e d i n t o the n o t i o n of s o c i a l a r t were the p r e d i c t a b l e b y - p r o d u c t of a p e r i o d f r a u g h t w i t h economic i l l s and e s c a l a t i n g demands f o r s o c i a l r e f o r m . U l t i m a t e l y , these broad and complex i s s u e s of the e i g h t i e s were d i s t i l l e d down i n t o the 16 s i n g l e , p o t e n t cause of u n i v e r s a l s u f f r a g e . I t was a c o n c e r n which found s t a u n c h s u p p o r t e r s i n e v e r y f a c t i o n of B e l g i a n s o c i e t y . P o l i t i c a l l y , i t r e s u l t e d i n deep and permanent r i f t s between v a r i o u s f a c t i o n s w i t h i n the C a t h o l i c and L i b e r a l P a r t i e s . T h e i r most r a d i c a l f a c -t i o n s devoted t h e i r e f f o r t s t o a d v a n c i n g the cause of the f l e d g l i n g s o c i a l i s t s . As Kossman p o i n t s o u t , . . . u n i v e r s a l f r a n c h i s e was advocated on many d i f f e r e n t and a t times c o n t r a d i c t o r y grounds, but i t s champions a t t a c h e d such overwhelming s i g n i f i c a n c e t o i t that,', i n whatever form i t was j u s t i f i e d or i d e a l i z e d , a l l r e g a r d e d i t as the main o b j e c t of t h e i r r e f o r m programme.16 As u n i v e r s a l f r a n c h i s e became the p o l i t i c a l cause  c e l e b r e of the decade, P i c a r d was a b l e t o broaden the c i r c l e of i n t e l l e c t u a l s who j o i n e d him under the banner of 1 ' a r t  s o c i a l . I t was under t h i s banner t h a t the f o u n d i n g members of Les V i n g t found themselves when they made the c r i t i c a l d e c i s i o n t o i n v i t e L ' A r t Moderne e d i t o r Octave Maus t o become the s e c r e t a r y o f t h e i r n e w l y - o r g a n i z e d group i n October of 1883. T h i s d e c i s i o n s i g n i f i e d a c o n t r a c t u a l agreement w i t h L ' A r t Moderne which would d e t e r m i n e Les  V i n g t ' s o r g a n i z a t i o n a l and a r t i s t i c b o u n d a r i e s f o r the next t e n y e a r s . The c h o i c e of Maus was n o t , however, n e c e s s a r i l y based on a sympathy f o r L ' A r t Moderne's d o c t r i n e of s o c i a l a r t . R a t h e r , i t was c a l c u l a t e d t o i n s u r e the s u c c e s s of 17 the group's annual s a l o n s . H i s i n f l u e n t i a l p o s i t i o n as a l a w y e r w i t h i n B r u s s e l s h i g h s o c i e t y and h i s wide c i r c l e of f r i e n d s and a s s o c i a t e s would guarantee a l a r g e , c o n g e n i a l audience f o r the V i n g t i s t e s . As one of the e d i t o r s of a j o u r n a l which championed a l l f r e e - t h i n k i n g a r t i s t s , Maus would p r o v i d e a d i r e c t l i n k t o a so u r c e of c o n t i n u o u s s u p p o r t and p u b l i c i t y . . More i m p o r t a n t l y , f o r Les V i n g t to be a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the l e a d i n g l i t e r a r y a v ant-garde almost g u a r a n t e e d them a s i m i l a r p o s i t i o n among the v i s u a l a r t i s t s of the day. For L ' A r t Moderne, the V i n g t i s t e s p r o v i d e d an a e s t h e t i c programme which would g i v e meaning t o what was o t h e r w i s e a c o l l e c t i o n of t h e o r e t i c a l v a g a r i e s . D e s p i t e a l l of P i c a r d ' s high-minded p r o s e l y t i z i n g f o r a new, r e v o l u t i o n a r y s o c i a l a r t , when i t came down t o what t h a t r e p r e s e n t e d i n c o n c r e t e terms of a r t i s t i c p r o d u c t i o n , t h e r e was l i t t l e s u b s t a n c e b e h i n d the d i s c o u r s e . L ' A r t Moderne's d e f i n i t i o n s o f s o c i a l a r t were v e i l e d and p o e t i c . A r t , i t w r o t e , was . . . une r e s u l t a n t e , e t l o r s q u e l ' A r t s'epan-o u i t en un homme de g e n i e , c ' e s t que de nombreuses e x i s t e n c e s , de grandes f o r c e s , des l u t t e s p u i s -s a n t e s , des e f f o r t s courageux, des q u a l i t i e s p r e -c i e u s e s , des etudes longues e t p a t i e n t e s , des con-v i c t i o n s e l e v e e s , des tendances g r a n d i o s e s se s o n t fondues, resumees, r e u n i e s , c o n c e n t r e e s , u n i f i e e s dans l e c e r v e a u d'un e t r e p r i l i l e g i e . 1 7 A c c o r d i n g t o L ' A r t Moderne, a r t i n the realm o f g e n i u s , was i n e l u c t a b l y t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o a n o b l e , s o c i a l a c t when-18 ever i t s s o l e g u i d i n g p r i n c i p l e was, I n t e r p r e t e r 1'gme humaine par l a n a t u r e , de maniere a f o u r n i r l e temoignage l e p l u s complet de t o u t e s ses e n e r g i e s , de t o u t e s ses f o r c e s , l a t e n t e s ou e c l a t a n t e s de ses beautes e x t e r i e u r e s ou i n t i r n e s , a p p a r e n t e s ou v i o l e e s . 1 8 Because P i c a r d ' s d o c t r i n e was so f r a i l and d i s c u r s i v e , i t took l i t t l e e f f o r t t o e s t a b l i s h t h a t the i d e o l o g y of the f l e d g l i n g o r g a n i z a t i o n of V i n g t i s t e s was the most p e r f e c t example of h i s d o c t r i n e of s o c i a l a r t . The n a t u r e of the group made i t easy f o r L ' A r t Moderne t o a c h i e v e t h i s e q u i v a l e n c y . Les V i n g t was founded by a group of a r t i s t s of v e r y d i v e r s e a r t i s t i c backgrounds who wished t o s e t up a phalanx committed t o c o n f r o n t i n g t r a d i t i o n a l a r t forms and f r e e i n g a r t i s t s from c o n t r o l by the B r u s s e l s Academy. Many of them had l e f t the a r t i s t s ' group, L'Essor because they were un-a b l e t o f u l f i l l t h o s e g o a l s w i t h i n the s t r u c t u r e of t h a t group. U n l i k e L ' E s s o r , Les V i n g t was t o be a n o n - p a r t i s a n o r g a n i z a t i o n , based on l i b e r t a r i a n p r i n c i p l e s . I t had no r e a l m a n i f e s t o or s i n g l e a e s t h e t i c model. Les V i n g t r e -s o l v e d , s i m p l y , t o o r g a n i z e annual s a l o n s f o r i t s members and t o i n v i t e the most i n n o v a t i v e a r t i s t s from a l l over Europe t o p a r t i c i p a t e . There was to be no p r e s i d e n t or j u r y . With the h e l p of the s e c r e t a r y , members would take t u r n s o r g a n i z i n g the annual e x h i b i t i o n . 1 9 In s p i t e of t h e i r r e s o l v e t o a v o i d a h i e r a r c h i c a l 19 s t r u c t u r e , a g r e a t d e a l of power u l t i m a t e l y f e l l to the group's s e c r e t a r y . According to F r a n c i n e - C l a i r e Legrand, the V i n g t i s t e s gathered at Octave Maus' home i n January of 1884 to s i g n a c h a r t e r f o r the o r g a n i z a t i o n and on the verso was the name of Octave Maus and h i s address: "Rue de berger: the symbol, undoubtedly, d i r e c t e d the d e s t i n i e s of the V i n g t i s t e s from the s t a r t . . . ."20 Madeline Maus, i n her r e c o l l e c t i o n of Maus' e l e c t i o n to the p o s i t i o n of s e c r e t a r y , c i t e s the d u t i e s and r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s Les Vingt assigned to h i s p o s i t i o n : "pour r e m p l i r toutes l e s f o n c t i o n s a f f e r e n t e s au s e c r e t a r i a t du C e r c l e des XX,adresser en notre nom l e s i n v i t a t i o n s , f a i r e l a correspondence, . . . promettant de r a t i f i e r tout ce q u ' i l jugera u t i l e de f a i r e a c e t egard et nous portant f o r t pour l e s s u i t e s q u i p o u r r a i e n t en r e s u l t e r . Et, . . . nous l u i donnons p r o c u r a t i o n pour nous r e p r e s e n t e r eventuellement en j u s t i c e , p l a i d e r et c o n c l u r e en notre nom devant l e s tribunaux, defendre aux a c t i o n s q u i p o u r r a i e n t nous e t r e i n t e n t e e s , . . ."21 With a l l t h i s power that the V i n g t i s t e s c o n f e r r e d upon him, Maus was c e r t a i n to s t e e r Les Vingt on a course best s u i t e d to L'Art Moderne's i n t e r e s t s . Les Vingt's e g a l i t a r i a n i s m and i t s i n i t i a l d e t e r m i n a t i o n to commit i t s e l f to no s p e c i f i c a e s t h e t i c programme were i n accord with P i c a r d ' s espousal of e c l e c t i c i s m and i m p a r t i a l i t y . And though i t was,,indeed, Maus who commanded t h i s new v e s s e l of vanguardism, i t was P i c a r d who c h a r t e d the course they were d e s t i n e d to f o l l o w as 20 a r e s u l t of t h i s a l l i a n c e . Together, the two e d i t o r s e s t a b l i s h e d the V i n g t i s t e s ' p o s i t i o n w i t h i n the con-s t e l l a t i o n of Belgium's new c u l t u r a l e l i t e . In the f i r s t months of Les Vingt's e x i s t e n c e Maus and P i c a r d both proved t h e i r u s e f u l n e s s to t h i s group ' i s cause and demonstrated t h e i r d e t e r m i n a t i o n to d i r e c t the group's a r t i s t i c programme. One of Maus 1 f i r s t a cts as s e c r e t a r y was to secure e x h i b i t i o n space f o r the V i n g t i s t e s at the P a l a i s des Beaus-Arts. Apparently, he had no • t r o u b l e i n c a r r y i n g out t h i s plan and, i n f a c t , appears to have been on c o n g e n i a l terms with the government o f f i c i a l s who would have given s a n c t i o n to t h i s request.22 Around the same time, he a l s o c r e a t e d the p o s i t i o n of group t r e a s u r e r and appointed h i s f r i e n d , V i c t o r B e r n i e r , a h i g h - l e v e l f u n c t i o n a r y i n the government, to the post.23 P r e d i c t a b l y , P i c a r d acted as the c h i e f spokesman f o r the group at t h e i r f i r s t s a l o n . In a l e c t u r e e n t i t l e d , "L'Art jeune" he e s t a b l i s h e d the boundaries of a r t i s t i c endeavor f o r t h i s new group and i n t e r p r e t e d the meaning of i t s a r t i s t i c i n i t i a t i v e s - - n o t only f o r the p u b l i c , but f o r the V i n g t i s t e s themselves. His speech was meant to c o d i f y and r e g u l a t e t h e i r behaviour i n accordance with the i d e o l o g i c a l parameters he had e s t a b l i s h e d . Using the vocabulary he had borrowed from Belgium's p o l i t i c a l L e f t , P i c a r d shaped the fundamental ideas which gave form 21 to Les Vingt's a r t i s t i c i d e n t i t y , whereby the a c t i v i t i e s of these a r t i s t s were shown to correspond to the i d e a l s he had a f f i x e d to h i s d o c t r i n e of s o c i a l a r t . The l e c -ture both c i r c u m s c r i b e d the way i n which the group rep-resented the v i s u a l exponent of h i s theory and formed the foundation f o r i t s i d e o l o g i c a l framework. F i r s t of a l l , the v a l i d i t y of t h e i r e f f o r t s was i n d i c a t e d by t h e i r r o l e as the r i g h t f u l h e i r s to pre-vious B e l g i a n avant-gardes. P i c a r d remarked that Historiquement ce mouvement s ' i n d i q u a i t . : Ceux qui comprennent notre e v o l u t i o n a r t i s t i q u e depuis l e commencement du s i e c l e , pouvaient presque p r e d i r e ce qui a l l a i t a r r i v e r . . . .^4 P r e s e n t i n g a b r i e f h i s t o r y of a r t i s t s and groups who had come and gone i n Belgium dur i n g the nineteenth century he f i n a l l y concluded that Les XX con t i n u e n t ces i n i t i a t i v e s , et de mesne l e u r a s s o c i a t i o n est l a f i l l e de s o c i e t e s tombees . . . .25 The appearance of Les Vingt was, he a s s e r t e d , p a r t of a n a t u r a l , e v o l u t i o n a r y p r o g r e s s i o n moving p e r p e t u a l l y towards "the new". As the i n h e r i t o r s of t h i s t r a d i t i o n the V i n g t i s t e s would b r i n g to a r t : . . . l e neologisme dans l e s procedes techniques et l a contemporaneity dans l e choix des ;sujets.26 P i c a r d made a p o i n t of deemphasizing Les Vingt's p l u r a l -i s t i c nature and i n s t e a d , s t r e s s e d the group's u n i t y and c o l l e c t i v e d i s p o s i t i o n to r a d i c a l i s m : 22 Lorsqu'on examine de q u i se compose ce p e t i t c o r p s d'armee, on c o n s t a t e sans p e i n e q u ' i l a e t e r e c r u t e parmi l e s p l u s audacieux e t l e s p l u s indomptes des n e o - p e i n t r e s s o i t comme a r t , s o i t comme c a r a c t e r e . A u s s i , des l e debut, l e s a-t-on vus r e p u d i e r ouvertement t o u t e a i d e o f f i c i e l l e ; . . .27 He c l a i m e d i t was t h i s r e v o l u t i o n a r y temperament which gave credence t o t h e i r e f f o r t s and, at the same tim e , s e t up an i n e v i t a b l e a n t a g o n i s t i c r e l a t i o n s h i p between them and t h e i r p u b l i c . 2 8 On o u b l i e que t o u t novateur f u t en son temps un r e v o l u t i o n n a i r e . . . . Ceux q u i n'ont pas r e v o l u t i o n n e l ' a r t , n'ont ja m a i s s u r v e c u . En c o n t i n u a n t l e s t r a d i t i o n s e t a b l i e s avant eux, i l s ont p e u t - i s t r e charme l e s b o u r g e o i s de l e u r temps, mais i l s on d i s p a r u dans l ' o u b l i . Le g e n i e derange t o u j o u r s l e s h a b i t u d e s e t son pro p r e . . . .29 In t h i s way, P i c a r d was a b l e t o a l i g n the g o a l s of th e s e " a p p o r t e u r s de neuf" w i t h the s o c i a l r e f o r m movement w i t h o u t f o r s a k i n g the n o t i o n t h a t a r t i s t s of t h i s c a l i b r e n e c e s s a r i l y h e l d a p r i v i l e g e d p o s i t i o n i n t h e i r s o c i e t y . They were the chosen few who were d e s t i n e d t o l e a d and e n l i g h t e n the masses. He e x p l a i n e d t h a t Dans une s o c i e t e comme l a n o t r e , q u i tend a l ' e g a l i t e s o c i a l e , l ' a r t d e v r a i t s u b i r une t r a n s f o r m a t i o n , a f i n de p a r l e r une langue p l u s c o m p r e h e n s i b l e a t o u s . . . . Quel langue f a u t - i l done p a r l e r a l a masse pour 1' empiecher de s ' e n g o u r d i r dans l e m a t e r i a l i s m e e t l u i r e v e l e r q u ' e l l e a une ame?30 The answer t o t h i s r h e t o r i c a l q u e s t i o n was, of c o u r s e , the language of the avant-garde as i t was r e v e a l e d i n the 23 e f f o r t s of Les V i n g t , which, i n t u r n , was the exponent of 1 ' a r t s o c i a l . A r t , i n t h i s c a s e , would remain i n the p r o p e r t y of t h i s s p e c i a l group stamped w i t h the mark of g e n i u s and g i f t e d w i t h the power t o speak a language which needed t o be made compreh e n s i b l e to t h o s e who were, as P i c a r d i n t i m a t e s , unable to speak a c u l t u r a l language of t h e i r own. In e f f e c t , t h i s was an i d e a t h a t l e g i t i m i z e d the e f f o r t s of the V i n g t i s t e s . The a r t i s t may u p l i f t the s o u l of the worker through h i s a r t , but he must a l s o p r e s e r v e a r t from b e i n g s u l l i e d by p e d e s t r i a n i s m or u t i l i t a r i a n i s m . L ' a r t a p l u s que j a m a i s , de nos j o u r s , l a m i s s i o n de f o r t i f i e r 1'homme, de 1 1 a g g r a n d i r par 1'emotion en l e rendant m e i l l e u r . I I f a u d r a i t done, . . que l ' a r t d e v i n t p l u s c o m p r e h e n s i b l e a ceux q u i ne s o n t pas encore corrompus, par l ' a r t f a c t i c e , e n f i e v r e melo-dramatique en un mot, par 1 ' a r t a p p r i s par  c o e u r . . . . j e veux, . . q u ' i l c o n s e r v e r e l i g i e u s e m e n t l a p u r e t e de l a l a n g u e . . . .31 P i c a r d ' s commitment t o m a i n t a i n the " p u r i t y of language" of a r t p r o v i d e d a l i n k w i t h Belgium's c u l t u r a l p a s t and gave a measure of c r e d i b i l i t y t o h i s d i s c o u r s e on s o c i a l a r t . The e v o l u t i o n a r y i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h i s i d e a a l l o w e d f o r a more r e c e p t i v e audience which was drawn from those who found themselves f a c e d w i t h the tremendous p r e s s u r e f o r s o c i a l change. The n o t i o n of change, as Kossman ex-p l a i n s , was i r r e s i s t i b l e : . . . the a g i t a t i o n i n . . . f a v o u r of [ u n i v e r s a l 24 s u f f r a g e ] h e l p e d t o undermine the s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e of the r u l i n g b o u r g e o i s i e . Of cou r s e they oppos-ed u n i v e r s a l f r a n c h i s e but not on grounds of p r i n c i p l e . They r e s t r i c t e d themselves t o s l o w -i n g down a development the i n e v i t a b i l i t y of which they began almost u n c o n s c i o u s l y t o a c c e p t . 3 2 Transposed onto a a e s t h e t i c l e v e l , the concept of " i n e v -i t a b i l i t y " or " e v o l u t i o n ; " t h a t i s , drawing s u s t e n a n c e from the p a s t w h i l e b e i n g c a r r i e d i n e x o r a b l y i n t o t h e unknown f u t u r e , was o n l y a d i f f e r e n t m a n i f e s t a t i o n of the e v o l u t i o n a r y concept of s o c i a l p r o g r e s s . I t was t h i s same concept t h a t g r a d u a l l y drew the v o t i n g p u b l i c t o su p p o r t the cause of u n i v e r s a l f r a n c h i s e . I t was a p r i n c i p l e b o r n from b o u r g e o i s i d e o l o g y , and, u l t i m a t e l y , i t s a r t i s t i c m a n i f e s t a t i o n would s e r v e t o f o r t i f y t h e b e l i e f s of tho s e who belonged t o the dominant c l a s s . I n the same month as Les V i n g t ' s f i r s t e x h i b i t i o n the e d i t o r s of L ' A r t Moderne r e i n f o r c e d the n o t i o n t h a t " s o c i a l " a r t had a p a r t t o p l a y i n the e v o l u t i o n of B e l g i a n s o c i e t y : C e t t e m i s s i o n s o c i a l e de c o n s o l a t i o n , de r e p a r a t i o n , de p e r f e c t i o n n e m e n t que l a r e l -i g i o n e s t i m p u i s s a n t e a r e m p l i r , c ' e s t l ' a r t q u i d o i t l a c o n t i n u e r : . . . i l d o i t p r e n dre as p l a c e au combat de l a v i e , r e v e t i r de c h a i r s , de formes e t de beaute l e dur s q u e l e t t e de l a v e r i t e . L ' u t i l e n 'est pas l e c o n t r a i r e du grand e t du beau.33 I t was the f o r c e of the re f o r m movement i n the second h a l f of the decade t h a t a l l o w e d L ' A r t Moderne t o p r e s e n t such a s t r o n g case f o r Les V i n g t and f o r s o c i a l a r t to the B r u s s e l s v i e w i n g p u b l i c . Indeed, a l l the a g i t a t i o n of the 25 1880's became i n some way an e x p r e s s i o n of or a con-c e s s i o n t o the s o c i a l i s t demands. 3^ In the p o l i t i c a l arena, i t was the r a d i c a l L i b e r a l s who took up the cause of the s o c i a l i s t s . A l t h o u g h t h e s e L i b e r a l s had l i t t l e p o p u l a r b a c k i n g , they d i d have s t r o n g s u p p o r t from the P r e s s and the o f f i c i a l w o r l d of go v e r n -ment and thus encouraged the d i s s e m i n a t i o n of s o c i a l i s t i d e a s . As Kossman p o i n t s o u t , c o n c e r n i n g the s t r e n g t h of the r a d i c a l L i b e r a l s ' c o n v i c t i o n : . . . so f i r m l y c o n v i n c e d were they t h a t the growth of p o p u l a r power was imminent and i n -e v i t a b l e t h a t they were p r e p a r e d t o s e r v e as the vanguard of the s o c i a l i s t s , . . .35 S i m i l a r l y , w i t h i n the C a t h o l i c p a r t y , a s t r o n g p r o g r e s s i v e f a c t i o n appeared which tended t o be more wordly and more s t r o n g l y m o t i v a t e d by the r e f o r m move-ment. T h i s change i n a t t i t u d e undermined the power of the c o n s e r v a t i v e C a t h o l i c s whose views were i n l i n e w i t h those e x p r e s s e d by Pope Leo X I I I i n h i s e n c y c l i c a l of 1878 e n t i t l e d "On S o c i a l i s m . " 3 6 In i t , Leo had r e j e c t e d the s o c i a l i s t movement and de c r e e d t h a t the Church r e c o g n i z e d the b a s i c i n e q u a l i t y of men. The C h r i s t i a n d e m o c r a t i c movement, a l s o known as S o c i a l C a t h o l i c i s m , however, attempted a compromise between i t s t r a d i t i o n a l d o c t r i n e s and the demands of a s o c i e t y i n t r a n s i t i o n . 26 I t was the C h r i s t i a n democracy of a C a t h o l i c i s m now c a l l e d s o c i a l . Whereas,. . . u l t r a m o n t a n i s m of the 1860's and 1870's was h o s t i l e t o e v e r y -t h i n g modern, the s o c i a l C a t h o l i c i s m of the 1880's and 1890's wanted to use and absorb modern c u l t u r e . S o c i a l C a t h o l i c i s m adopted a s l i g h t l y d a n d y i s h appearance; i t was up t o d a t e , not o n l y d e m o c r a t i c and d e e p l y i n t e r e s t e d i n the s o c i a l q u e s t i o n . . . .37 W i t h i n t h i s i n c r e a s i n g l y t o l e r a n t , d e m o c r a t i c c l i m a t e which was one enamoured w i t h the "new," a l t h o u g h s t i l l f r a u g h t w i t h f e a r s of i t s more f a r -r e a c h i n g i m p l i c a t i o n s , the concept of s o c i a l a r t was made t o appear as an o f f s h o o t of a more wi d e s p r e a d movement f o r s o c i a l r e f o r m . At the same t i m e , P i c a r d attempted t o p l a c e Les V i n g t i n the p u b l i c l i m e l i g h t by d e l i b e r a t e l y t r y i n g t o a n t a g o n i z e those who r e p r e s e n t e d the most c o n s e r v a t i v e ranks of the p r e s s and v i e w i n g p u b l i c . He was aware t h a t any h i n t of c o n t r o v e r s y would o n l y s e r v e t o draw a t t e n t i o n t o the V i n g t i s t e s ' e x h i b i t i o n . In h i s l e c t u r e t h a t was s u b s e q u e n t l y pub-l i s h e d i n L ' A r t Moderne, P i c a r d p r e d i c t e d t h a t from the p r e s s , "on ne r e c h e r c h a pas 1 1 a p p u i , . . . " and "Quant au p u b l i c , Pi&te m o l l e , t o u j o u r s d i s p o s e a s u i v r e l e s bavardages . . . i l f u t s c e p t i q u e e t peu d i s p o s e a l a b i e n v e i l l a n c e . " 3 8 As P i c a r d no doubt hoped, those who would have seen Les V i n g t as the h a r b i n g e r s of m o d e r n i t y , and t h e r e f o r e a t h r e a t t o a l l t h a t the B r u s s e l s Academy s t o o d f o r , - •• -27 a t t a c k e d him and the a r t i s t s he defended. P r o b a b l y the most v i r u l e n t a t t a c k s came from Gustave Lagye, one of the c r i t i c s f o r L_a F e d e r a t i o n A r t i s t i q u e ? 9 The p r o t r a c t e d b a t t l e t h a t ensued between the two men was p r i n t e d i n L ' A r t Moderne and i t would appear t h a t , a l t h o u g h Lagye had some s e r i o u s c r i t i c i s m s of the V i n g t i s t e s many of h i s e p i t h e t s were aimed at P i c a r d d i r e c t l y : Mais j e comprends p a r f a i t e m e n t que M a i t r e P i c a r d , d e s a p p o i n t e de ne p o u v o i r v i c e -p r e s i d e r . . . l e C e r c l e a r t i s t i q u e de B r u x e l l e s , se s o i t r e t o u r n e d 1 u n a u t r e c o t e . . . . I I l u i f a l l a i t un s i e g e e t une n o u v e l l e base d 1 o p e r a t i o n pour l e j e u complique q u ' i l joue avec une l u c i d i t e c e s a r i e n n e . Les XX sont venus innocement l u i o f f i r 1'un e t 1'autre. . . . Ce q u i d e v e n a i t ses p i o n s dans l a b a t a i l l e l u i i m p o r t a n t peu.40 In k e e p i n g w i t h t h i s a t t i t u d e c o n c e r n i n g the r e l a t i o n -s h i p between P i c a r d and Les V i n g t , Lagye q u e s t i o n e d every statement L ' A r t Moderne's e d i t o r had made on b e h a l f of the V i n g t i s t e s . He c h a l l e n g e d P i c a r d ' s r h e t o r i c of d e f i a n c e and combativeness and p o i n t e d out t h a t some of P i c a r d ' s s o - c a l l e d audacious p a i n t e r s had a l r e a d y s u c c e s s f u l l y e x h i b i t e d many of the works shown at Les V i n g t ' s f i r s t e x h i b i t i o n and some had even won medals.41 S i t p t que j e 1 ' a i pu, j e me s u i s permis de met t r e l e d i r e c t e u r des XX en c o n t r a d i c t i o n f l a g r a n t e avec l e s oeuvres memes exposees 28 par l e s matadors de son e s c a d r i l l e ; . . . z He a l s o attacked P i c a r d ' s claims concerning the extent to which the V i n g t i s t e s were s i g n i f i c a n t i n n o v a t o r s : pour ma p a r t , j e n ' a i jamais h e s i t e a s a l u e r l e s v e r i t a b l e s novateurs. L ' i n t r a n s i g e a n c e f a i t d ' a r t e s t chose permise, v o i r e d e s i r a b l e . . . . Mais i l y a une le g e r e nuance entre un maitre et un e c o l i e r , . . There were other c r i t i c s who a l s o were aware of the c o n t r a d i c t i o n s between what P i c a r d wrote about Les Vingt and what the group r e a l l y r e presented. H. Vigoureux of L'Etudiant a l s o c h a l l e n g e d P i c a r d ' s c l a i m that Les Vingt represented a band of u n i f i e d r a d i c a l s . He wrote that "En e f f e t , i l y a.-.Qnesexir.lrae=g.auehey.-.tune;-'.gaucheoconser-• v a t r i c e et meme une d r o i t e aux XX. . . ."44 I t i s evi d e n t from these comments that the p u b l i c was w e l l aware of the important r o l e P i c a r d played i n the group's o p e r a t i o n s . Lagye even r e f e r s to P i c a r d as Les Vin g t ' s " d i r e c t o r " and to the V i n g t i s t e s as "ses Jeunes B e l g i q u e . " Even without an o f f i c i a l r o l e w i t h i n the group, the power of h i s j o u r n a l allowed him to maintain a gre a t deal of c o n t r o l over i t s o p e r a t i o n s . And without P i c a r d ' s a b i l i t i e s as a s t r a t -e g i s t , Les Vingt might never have gained the important f o o t h o l d i t achieved so q u i c k l y . In payment f o r these f a v o u r s , Les Vingt t a c i t l y became subsumed under the aegis of L'Art Moderne. Moreover, the j o u r n a l ' s a l l i a n c e 29 w i t h the a r t i s t s ' group a l s o b o l s t e r e d P i c a r d ' s and Maus' r e p u t a t i o n s as the s e l f - a p p o i n t e d p u n d i t s of "modernity" and " s o c i a l a r t " . The y e a r l y e x h i b i t i o n s were d e s t i n e d t o become a forum f o r the d i s s e m i n a t i o n of t h e i r i d e a s and t o s t r e n g t h e n t h e i r p o s i t i o n w i t h i n the l a r g e r B e l g i a n i n t e l l e c t u a l community. I t was, i n d e e d , L ' A r t Moderne t h a t always main-t a i n e d the dominant r o l e i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p t h a t grew between the two groups. P i c a r d and Maus c o n t r o l l e d the apparat u s which was n e c e s s a r y f o r the V i n g t i s t e s t o a c h i e v e the s u c c e s s they wanted. P u b l i c l y , however, they u p h e l d the myth t h a t the j o u r n a l m a i n t a i n e d a deta c h e d , p a t e r n a l i s t i c r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h the a r t i s t s ' group. T h i s was a c h i e v e d by u n d e r s c o r i n g the i d e a of l i b e r t a r i a n i s m . Each V i n g t i s t e , they d e c l a r e d , "se l a i s s e a l l e r l i b r e m e n t a son temperament, . . ."45 These d e c l a r a t i o n s of a r t i s t i c freedom and j o u r -n a l i s t i c i m p a r t i a l i t y b e l i e d the r e a l i t y of t h e i r r e l -a t i o n s h i p w i t h Les V i n g t . The t e n a c i t y w i t h which Maus and P i c a r d w i e l d e d t h e i r power over Les V i n g t i s e v i d -enced by the almost s y s t e m a t i c removal of c e r t a i n V i n g t i s t e s from the o r g a n i z a t i o n . Between 1884 and 1886, f i v e of the most c o n s e r v a t i v e members were o u s t e d . N o t a b l y , t h e s e were the same a r t i s t s whose works Lagye 30 had p o i n t e d out as b e i n g incongruous w i t h Les V i n g t ' s image of r e b e l l i o u s a n t i - t r a d i t i o n a l i s m . 4 ^ A p p a r e n t l y , the presence of t h e s e a r t i s t s was a g l a r i n g c o n t r a d i c - ' t i o n t o the c l a i m s L ' A r t Moderne made f o r the group, and they e i t h e r r e s i g n e d under p r e s s u r e or were drummed out by the c o n s i s t e n t a t t a c k s by L ' A r t Moderne and i t s f r i e n d s . 4 7 These i n c i d e n t s l e d one of the p e r s e c u t e d a r t i s t s t o w r i t e t h a t "une tendance unique e t a b s o l u e s ' e s t impose aux XX. Ne l a p a r t a g e a n t pas, j e m e r e t i r e . 1 , 4 8 T h i s "tendency," born from Maus' and P i c a r d ' s d e t e r m i n a t i o n t o imbue the e f f o r t s of the V i n g t i s t e s w i t h the q u a l i t i e s of an a r t t h a t P i c a r d c a l l e d " s o c i a l " would s e t the tone f o r a l l the V i n g t i s t e s ' e n t e r p r i s e s i n the y e a r s t h a t f o l l o w e d . Without q u a l i f i c a t i o n , i t was the e d i t o r s of L ' A r t Moderne who were i n command of Belgium's newest a r t i s t i c vanguard. 31 FOOTNOTES- CHAPTER ONE Rene H i s l a i r e , " P o l i t i c a l P a r t i e s , " i n B e l g i u m , ed. J a n - A l b e r t G o r i s -(Berkeley: U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f -o r n i a P r e s s , 1945), p.95. In t h i s d i s c u s s i o n of t h e p o l i t i c a l s t r u c t u r e of Belgium i n the l a t e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y the a u t h o r adds t h i s comment: "The e l e c t o r -a t e , composed of l e s s than 100,000 out of n e a r l y 4,000,000 i n h a b i t a n t s , r e p r e s e n t e d o n l y the w e l l - t o - d o c l a s s e s , n o b l e s , upper b o u r g e o i s p r o p e r t y owners, i n -d u s t r i a l i s t s and l a n d e d farmers who p a i d a c e r t a i n amount of t a x e s , known as the cens." 2 A c c o r d i n g t o E. H. Kossman, i n The Low C o u n t r i e s ( O x f o r d : C l a r e n d o n P r e s s , 1978), pp. 341-342, the F l e m i s h and Brabant-( B r u s s e l s ) S o c i a l i s t P a r t i e s were founded i n 1887 and amalgamated i n 1879 as the B e l g i a n S o c i a l i s t P a r t y . The g r e a t e s t problem f o r the Soc-i a l i s t s was t o u n i t e the workers under one v i a b l e o r g -a n i z a t i o n . I t was not s u c c e s s f u l and g a i n e d l i t t l e p u b l i c s u p p o r t . However, i t d i d i g n i t e a c o n s c i o u s -ness towards s o c i a l i s s u e s and paved the way f o r the e s t a b l i s h m e n t of a s t r o n g , u n i t e d o r g a n i z a t i o n - - t h e P a r t i O u v r i e r Beige --founded i n 1885. The p a r t y i n power i n the e a r l y e i g h t i e s was t h a t of the C a t h o l i c s . Kossman, p. 315, p o i n t s out t h a t when the L i b e r a l s were d e f e a t e d i n the e l e c t i o n s of 1879 a f t e r they t r i e d t o p l a c e e d u c a t i o n under the c o n t r o l of the gov- : ernment and l e s s by the C a t h o l i c Church, L i b e r a l i s m f a i l e d and was r e p l a c e d by a c l e r i c a l and c o n s e r v a t i v e countermovement. Thus, the s i t u a t i o n at the b e g i n n i n g of the decade was such t h a t a s t r o n g , c o n s e r v a t i v e R i g h t i s t government was i n power, the m i d d l e - o f - t h e -road L i b e r a l s were p o w e r l e s s and the new p o l i t i c a l L e f t was r e p r e s e n t e d by the f l e d g l i n g S o c i a l i s t P a r t y . 3 Kossman, p. 330, o f f e r s an e x c e l l e n t d e s c r i p t i o n of t h o s e who were devoted t o L_a Jeune B e l g i q u e when he w r i t e s : "La Jeune B e l g i q u e c a t e r e d f o r the i n t e l l e c t u a l e l i t e . I t d i d not r e p r e s e n t a d e m o c r a t i c movement. But the v u l g a r i t y d e s p i s e d by t h e s e men was not t h a t of the masses, r a t h e r the v u l g a r i t y of the b o u r g e o i s i e from which the l e a d e r s themselves had come. With t h e i r proud e x c l u s i v e n e s s they r e j e c t e d e v e r y t h i n g ever done, thou g h t , or made by t h i s b o u r g e o i s i e as i n f e r i o r mat-e r i a l i s m . They sought i s o l a t i o n . . . . They were u n r e l i g i o u s and remained o u t s i d e p o l i t i c s . . . . They were as f u l l of contempt f o r l i b e r a l i s m as they were i n d i f f e r e n t t o the Roman C a t h o l i c P a r t y . " 32 H e n r i P i r e n n e , H i s t o i r e de B e l g i q u e , , 7 v o l s . - ( B r u x e l l e s : L a m e r t i n , 1902-47), 7:262. For a d i s c u s s i o n of these terms, see Renato P o g g i o l i , The Theory of the Avant-Garde, t r a n s . G e r a l d F i t z g e r a l d (Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap P r e s s , 1968) and N i c o s Had j i n i c o l a o u , " " Sur 1 ' i d e o l o g i c de 1'avant-gardism," H i s t o i r e e t c r i t i q u e des a r t s :  l e s a v a n t - g a r d e s , ( P a r i s , 1978), pp. 49-76-^"Notre programme," L ' A r t Moderne I (March 6, 1881): 2. "A quelques mecontents," L ' A r t Moderne I (June 12, 1881): 115. F r a n g o i s Vermeulen, Edmund P i c a r d e t l e  r e v e i l des l e t t r e s b e i g e s : 1881-1888 ( B r u x e l l e s : La R e n a i s s a n c e du l i v r e , 1935), p. 25. 9 "Le jeune mouvement l i t t e r a i r e , " L ' A r t  Moderne I ( J u l y 15, 1883): 222. ~^F. Vermeulen, pp. 34-36 "'""'"See Canning, p. 14. Vermeulen, p. 36. A c c o r d i n g t o Kossman, pp. 311-313, P i c a r d went through s e v e r a l d i f f e r e n t p o l i t i c a l phases i n h i s l i f e . H i s f a t h e r was bor n i n P a r i s , and came from a Walloon f a m i l y of f a r m e r s and h i s mother was of Dutch o r i g i n . He grew up i n B r u s s e l s where h i s f a t h e r was a b a r r i s t e r . Iii.'the 1860's P i c a r d was a r a d i c a l L i b e r a l , i n the 1880's he f o u g h t f o r u n i v e r s a l f r a n c h i s e , and i n 1886 he became a member of the POB. E v e n t u a l l y , h i s e x p l o r -a t i o n s l e d him t o r a c i s t d o c t r i n e s , even to w r i t i n g a n t i - s e m i t i c monographs. T h i s t u r n i n h i s w r i t i n g appears t o have hampered h i s p o l i t i c a l c a r e e r a f t e r 1897. " L ' A r t j e u n e , " L ' A r t Moderne IV (March 9, 1884): 74. 33 I b i d . 15 I b i d . , p. 73 . 16 Kossman, p. 323. 17 " G l a n u r e s , " L ' A r t Moderne I I (November 5, 1882): 356. 18 T, . , I b i d . 19 See Jane B l o c k , "Les XX and B e l g i a n Avant-Gardism, 1868-1894';" 2 v o l s . -(Ph.D. d i s s . , The U n i v -e r s i t y of M i c h i g a n , 1980), p. 104. B l o c k p o i n t s out t h a t t h e r e i s no a b s o l u t e e v i d e n c e to show i f or when the committee of t h r e e was abandoned. In my own r e -s e a r c h , I found no c o n c r e t e e v i d e n c e t o show t h e r e was a committee a p p o i n t e d a f t e r the f i r s t y e a r ' s s a l o n . 20 F r a n c i n e - C l a i r e Legrand, L_e Groupe des XX  et son temps, F e b r u a r y 1 7 - A p r i l 8, 1962. B r u x e l l e s : Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts de B e l g i q u e , 1962., p. 18. 21 M. O. Maus, Tr e n t e annees de l u t t e pour 1 ' a r t ,  1884-1914 ( B r u x e l l e s : L i b r a i r i e 1 ' o i s e a u b l e u , 1926), pp. 17-18. 22 B l o c k , p. 56. 23 See B l o c k , p. 104, and p. 138, f o r a d i s c u s s i o n of B e r n i e r ' s appointment t o the p o s t . 24 " L ' E x p o s i t i o n des XX," L ' A r t Moderne IV ( F e b r u a r y 10, 1884): 42. P i c a r d ' s l e c t u r e was r e -produced i n t h r e e a r t i c l e s i n L ' A r t Moderne d u r i n g F e b r u a r y and March, 1884. I b i d . 2 6 I b i d . , p. 41. 2 7 I b i d . 34 ? 8 P i c a r d d e l i b e r a t e l y s t i r r e d up a n t a g o n i s m b e t w e e n L e s V i n g t and t h e p u b l i c . T h i s s e r v e d t o u n i t e t h e members and s e t them i n a p r i v i l e g e d , i s o l a t e d p o s i t i o n . F u r t h e r m o r e , i t was a way o f d o w n p l a y i n g t h e p l u r a l i s t i c n a t u r e o f t h e g r o u p . 2 9 " L ' E x p o s i t i o n des XX," p. 43. 3 0 " L ' A r t j e u n e , " L ' A r t Moderne IV ( M a r c h 9, 1884): 73. 3 1 I b i d . -^Kossman, p. 328. 3 3 " L i v r e s n o u v e a u x , " L ' A r t Moderne IV ( F e b r u a r y 17, 1 8 8 4 ) : 5 1 . ^ K o s s m a n , p. 327. 3 5 I b i d . , p. 328. I n t e r m s o f t h e l a b e l , " r a d -i c a l i s m , " Kossman, pp. 336-337, w r i t e s , " I f a p o l i t i c a l p a r t y n e e d s t o e x p r e s s a s y s t e m , be i t a s y s t e m o f i d e a s o r i n t e r e s t s , t h e ' p r o g r e s s i v e ' o r ' r a d i c a l ' p a r t i e s o f t h i s p e r i o d a r e p a r a d o x e s , f o r r a d i c a l i s m d i d n o t h a v e , and d i d n o t w i s h t o h a v e , a s y s t e m . A l l s y s t e m s , i t was t h o u g h t , s l o w down e v o l u t i o n , impede g r o w t h r a t h e r t h a n d i r e c t i t . " However, Kossman g o e s on t o e x p l a i n t h a t i f t h e y o u n g r a d i c a l L i b e r a l s o f t h e 1880's d i d n o t h a v e a s y s t e m , t h e y w e re a t l e a s t c o m m i t t e d t o t h e a x i o m t h a t t h e r e i s an e v o l u t i o n a r y p r i n c i p l e l e a d i n g men t o w a r d s c o m p l e t e e q u a l i t y . Kossman, p. 337, a l s o adds t h a t t h e r a d i c a l s s h a r e d a g r e a t d e a l w i t h t h e B e l g i a n s o c i a l i s t s and, g r a d u a l l y , t h e i r c o n c e p t o f s o c i a l r e f o r m t h r o u g h l e g i s l a t i o n was a c c e p t e d by t h o s e l i b e r a l s who r e m a i n e d l o y a l t o t h e o l d p a r t y . 3 6 D o n a l d D. E g b e r t , S o c i a l R a d i c a l i s m and t h e  A r t s (New Y o r k : A l f r e d A. K n o p t , lb) /U) , p. 2T2T J Kossman, p. 365. 3 8 " L ' E x p o s i t i o n d e s XX," L ' A r t Moderne IV ( F e b r u a r y 10, 1 8 8 4 ) : 4 1. 35 P i c a r d c a l l e d a t t e n t i o n to the d i s p u t e by p r i n t i n g Lagye's a r t i c l e s i n L'Art Moderne. 40 See "Supplement," L 1 Art Moderne IV -(March 9, 1884). See a l s o , Block, pp. 65-67. 41 "Supplement," p. 83 4 2 I b i d . , p. 84. 43 T, . , Ibid, H. Vigoureux, "Les XX," L'Etudiant (February 5, 1885), c i t e d by Block, p. 83. 45 " L ' E x p o s i t i o n des XX," L'Art Moderne IV (February 17, 1884): 49. 46 The f i v e a r t i s t s who l e f t the group were Gustave Vanaise, P i e t Verhaert, Theodore V e r s t r a e t e , J e f Lambeaux, and Jean D e l v i n . A l l were e s t a b l i s h e d a r t i s t s who had enjoyed a c e r t a i n measure of success p r i o r to t h e i r a s s o c i a t i o n with Les V i n g t . 47 Block, p. 124. 48 Le groupe des XX et son temps, p. 18 36 CHAPTER TWO STYLE AND IDEOLOGY: IMPRESSIONISM, MODERNITE AND ANARCHISM From 1884 t o 1887 L' A r t Moderne's concept of s o c i a l a r t was a s s o c i a t e d s t y l i s t i c a l l y w i t h B e l g i a n I m p r e s s i o n -ism. I t was the a r t i s t i c l e g a c y w h ich, a c c o r d i n g t o the j o u r n a l , had e v o l v e d out of the work o f Les V i n g t ' s p r e c u r s o r s , the B e l g i a n R e a l i s t s and P l e i n - a i r i s t s . 1 R e a l i s m , and i t s o f f - s h o o t , I m p r e s s i o n i s m were viewed by Maus and P i c a r d as the most s u i t a b l e modes f o r de-p i c t i n g the s u b j e c t of modern s o c i e t y . 2 Amongst the wide v a r i e t y of a r t i s t s who had j o i n e d t o g e t h e r t o form Les V i n g t , James Ensor was c o n s i d e r e d the most i n n o v a t i v e of the group's I m p r e s s i o n i s t f a c t i o n . He not o n l y h e l d an i m p o r t a n t p o s i t i o n w i t h i n the org a n -i z a t i o n because of h i s a r t i s t i c achievements, but a l s o had g a r n e r e d the a d m i r a t i o n of L ' A r t Moderne f o r h i s a g g r e s s i v e a t t a c k s on a l l those who were r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of o f f i c i a l a r t . The s t r e n g t h of h i s f o l l o w i n g , which i n c l u d e d F i n c h , V o g e l s , Toorop, DeRegoyos, S c h l o b a c h , C h a r l e t , Verheyden, Van Strydonck and Van R y s s e l b e r g h e , i n s u r e d him o f a p o w e r f u l p o s i t i o n w i t h i n the organ-i z a t i o n . He had a c q u i r e d h i s n o t o r i e t y from s e v e r a l d i s p u t e s 37 he had b e e n i n v o l v e d i n w i t h t h e B r u s s e l s S a l o n and t h e a r t i s t s ' g r o u p , L ' E s s o r . 4 I n t h e e y e s o f t h e p u b l i c , h i s r e p u t a t i o n p e r p e t u a t e d t h e n o t i o n t h a t t h e V i n g t i s t e s , i n g e n e r a l , w e re i n t r a c t a b l e and d e f i a n t . F o r L ' A r t  Moderne he became t h e model o f t h e i n t r a n s i g e n t , modern r e b e l . The j o u r n a l d e f e n d e d him f e r v e n t l y a f t e r h i s r e j -e c t i o n by t h e B r u s s e l s S a l o n i n 1884. C ' e s t s u r [ E n s o r ' s ] t e t e que de s o n t v i d e s l e s r e c i p i e n t s l e s p l u s p a r f u m e s de l a c r i t i q u e d i t e s e r i e u s e . . . . I I a c e t e n t ^ t e m e n t d e s e s -p e r a n t ou s u b l i m e q u i f a i t qu'on t r i o m p h e f i n a l e -ment de t o u t , mfSme quand on e s t un imbeci le , meme q u a n d on e s t un f o u , a p l u s f o r t e r a i s o n q u a n d on e s t un a r t i s t e d 1 u n e i n d e n i a b l e o r i g i n a l i t e . ^ I t d e c l a r e d t h a t E n s o r was t h e p r e - e m i n e n t V i n g t i s t e and d e s c r i b e d him as a s e r i o u s t h r e a t t o t h e f o r c e s o f o f f i c i a l d o m . E n s o r e s t un c h e f de c l a n . E n s o r e s t en vue . E n s o r resume e t c o n c e n t r e c e r t a i n s p r i n c i p e s c o n s i d e r e s comme a n a r c h i q u e s . B r e f , E n s o r e s t un d a n g e r e u x p e r s o n n a g e , q u i a de g r a n d e s c h a n c e s , . . . p o u r f a i r e b r e q h e d a n s l e v i e u x mur c r e n e l e que d e f e n d e n t l e s d e r n i e r s c h e v a l i e r s du m i l -h u i t - c e n t r e n t i s m e . 6 F o r L ' A r t M o d e r n e , t h i s l a b e l o f " d a n g e r o u s a n a r c h i s t " was d e f i n e d by c e r t a i n a r t i s t i c / p a r a m e t e r s . I t was p i c t o r i a l l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e I m p r e s s i o n i s t i c s t y l e and p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y w i t h t h e i d e a s o f l i b e r t a r i a n -i s m and a n t i - t r a d i t i o n a l i s m . 7 E n s o r ' s a c t i o n s and a t t i t u d e s , i n a s e n s e , p r o v i d e d t h e raw m a t e r i a l s f o r L e s V i n g t ' s a v a n t - g a r d e i d e n t i t y and t h e i d e o l o g y b e h i n d 38 the d o c t r i n e of 1 1 a r t s o c i a l as i t was m a n i f e s t w i t h i n t h i s s p e c i f i c group. On another l e v e l , Ensor and the avant-garde were b e i n g swept a l o n g by a more encompassing s i t u a t i o n . The s i g n i f i c a n c e of Ensor's r o l e as the " p e r f e c t anar-c h i s t " might have remained l i m i t e d t o the sphere of a r t , had i t not been f o r the p o l i t i c a l developments i n Belgium at t h i s t i m e . Under these c i r c u m s t a n c e s , the i d e a of "anarchism" took on more f a r - r e a c h i n g , complex and p r o b l e m a t i c a s s o c i a t i o n s . The e s t a b l i s h m e n t of a s u c c e s s f u l Workers' P a r t y had a g r e a t d e a l t o do w i t h t h i s phenomenon. A f t e r the p a r t y had been c o n s o l i d a t e d i n 1885, i t drew many of i t s s u p p o r t e r s from those who had been a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the B e l g i a n S o c i a l i s t P a r t y s i n c e 1879. More i m p o r t a n t l y , however, f o r m e r l y a p o l i t i c a l w o r k e r s ' c o o p e r a t i v e s and g u i l d s from a l l s e c t o r s of Belgium gave t h e i r s a n c t i o n t o the new p a r t y . For the f i r s t t i m e , they were a b l e t o see themselves as b e l o n g i n g t o the same c l a s s and were ready t o f i g h t f o r c l a s s i n t e r e s t s . 8 For a v i g o r o u s Labour P a r t y t o emerge, the u n i o n s and n o n p o l i t i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n s had t o agree t o a s t r a -tegy of a c t i o n and t o accept a p o l i t i c a l programme. The c o a l i t i o n t h a t formed the P a r t i O u v r i e r Beige 39 ( h e r e a f t e r r e f e r r e d t o as the POB) embraced w i d e - r a n g i n g p h i l o s o p h i e s , d i r e c t e d i t s e f f o r t s towards w i n n i n g a modicum of s o c i a l r e f o r m l e g i s l a t i o n and c o n c e n t r a t e d on the g o a l of u n i v e r s a l s u f f r a g e . 1 0 Because of the p e r s i s t e n t C a t h o l i c o v e r l a y of many of these groups, and because of the extreme d i v e r s i t y of groups r e p r e -s e n t e d , the POB l e a d e r s a v o i d e d the term " s o c i a l i s t " i n t h e i r d i s c u s s i o n s and evaded i s s u e s t h a t would f u e l d i v i s i o n s w i t h i n the p a r t y . H I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t the v e r y t a n g i b l e g o a l s of f r a n c h i s e r e f o r m and wor k e r s ' r i g h t s were enough t o c r e a t e a ve r y s t r o n g , u n i f i e d p a r t y . The POB was c o n t r o l l e d by the workers and they d i d l i t t l e t o accommodate the i n t e l l e c t u a l s w i t h i n the group. , . Whether M a r x i s t or A n a r c h i s t , s c h o l a r s and t h e o r i s t s , as Kossman p o i n t s o u t , were r e s p e c t e d but l e f t unread by the m a j o r i t y of the p a r t y ' s new membership.12 The s t r e n g t h of t h i s new p o l i t i c a l p a r t y was put to the t e s t by the economic s i t u a t i o n i n Belgium i n 1886. Unemployment and p o v e r t y were c r i t i c a l problems. A l t h o u g h Belgium had weathered economic d e p r e s s i o n b e f o r e , i t s appearance i n t h i s year was g r e e t e d by a s t r o n g and u n i f i e d POB whose f e r v e n t s u p p o r t e r s used the s i t u a t i o n t o demonstrate t h e i r newly-found power.1^ The work e r s ' u n i t y proved t o be so s t r o n g t h a t many b e l i e v e d the whole c o u n t r y was on the b r i n k of r e v o l u t i o n . I n 40 the newspapers, e n t i r e pages were devoted t o l i s t i n g i n c i d e n t s i n v o l v i n g s t r i k e s and d e m o n s t r a t i o n s and the government r e p r i s a l s t h a t f o l l o w e d them. H e n r i P i r e n n e d e s c r i b e s the ev e n t s of t h i s p e r i o d i n the f o l l o w i n g way: A comparison i s e s s e n t i a l t o the h i s t o r i a n between the u p r i s i n g of the I c o n o c l a s t s i n 1566 and the g r e a t workers's r i o t s of the month of March i n 1886. In both c a s e s , one f i n d s the same suddenness, the same v i o l e n c e , the same s u r p r i s e of the government, the same absence of o r g a n i z a t i o n on the p a r t of the i n s u r g e n t s . The a c c u m u l a t i o n of l o n g s t a n d i n g s o c i a l f r u s t r a t i o n was u n l e a s h e d w i t h o u t w a r n 1 i n g as i t had been un l e a s h e d by r e l i g i o u s f a n a t i c i s m t h r e e hundred y e a r s e a r l i e r . I t was a b u r s t of c o l l e c t i v e f u r o r , w i t h o u t p r e -c o n c e i v e d p l a n , w i t h o u t d i r e c t i o n , w i t h o u t a s p e c i f i c g o a l , o b e y i n g o n l y the c o n t a g i o n of example m a n i f e s t w i t h i n the s i c k e n e d masses.14 Les V i n g t , y o k e d from the b e g i n n i n g t o an i d e o l o g y f u s e d from the m i l i t a n t language of the p o l i t i c a l L e f t and the concept of " s o c i a l a r t " was i d e n t i f i e d by L ' A r t  Moderne as the a r t i s t i c e q u i v a l e n t of t h i s s o c i a l phen-omenon. T h i s c o n n e c t i o n between s o c i a l and a r t i s t i c a c t i v i t y was r e i n f o r c e d by s e v e r a l a r t i c l e s t h a t had appeared i n L ' A r t Moderne i n 1885 d u r i n g Les V i n g t ' s annual e x h i b i t i o n . Jean F r a n c o i s R a f f a e l l i had been chosen as an i n v i t e and p r i n c i p a l speaker a t the show. His t a l k s were l a t e r p u b l i s h e d under the t i t l e of "Le l a i d dans l ' a r t . " H i s i d e a s u p h e l d the a e s t h e t i c p o l i c y of Les V i n g t , which was steeped i n P i c a r d ' s p o l e m i c s 41 of r e a l i s m and c o n t e m p o r a n e i t y . R a f f a e l l i emphasized the n e c e s s i t y f o r the modern a r t i s t t o expose and c o n f i r m the r e a l i t i e s of h i s s o c i a l environment. He e x p l a i n e d t h a t the R e a l i s t a pour b u t , d'exprimer, par des oeuvr e s , l ' e t a t de son e s p r i t au moment ou i l compose ses oeuvres . . . . I I e s t e v i d e n t que . . . l e s a r t i s t e s q u i a p p a r t i e n n e n t au mouvement r e a l i s t e , n a t u r a l i s t e , s o n t des hommes s o u f f r a n t s , malheureux, a g i t e s , e t q u i possedent en eux-memes l e s i n q u i e t u d e s e t l e s t r i s t e s s e s de n o t r e s o c i e t e . - ^ He wrote t h a t s o c i a l d i s q u i e t was a r e f l e c t i o n of the p s y c h o l o g i c a l s t a t e of modern s o c i e t y . I t was i n h e r e n t i n the p r o c e s s of r e v o l u t i o n : . . . l a R e v o l u t i o n a d e f i n i v e m e n t c r e e des hommes. . . . en b r i s a n t des p o u v o i r s a b s o l u s , des i d e e s r e l i g i e u s e s , des c o r p o r a t i o n s , des p r i v i l e g e s , e l l e a c o n s t r u i t des i n d i v i d u s , s e pares e n t r e eux.16 In h i s p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h the " u g l y " the modern a r t i s t was not concerned w i t h the d e p i c t i o n . . . du l a i d pour l e l a i d , mais. . . a e c r i r e ou a p e i n d r e n o t r e t r i s t e s s e , n o t r e d esesperance e t n o t r e c o l e r e . 1 7 " M o d e r n i t e " s i m p l y s e r v e d " l a v e r i t e " and d e v o t i o n t o i t i m p l i e d an i n t r i n s i c a l l y moral v a l u e system. . . . l e moderne n'est pas seulement dans l e s u j e t . . . On e s t moderne par l a s e n s a t i o n , par 1 1 i d e e qu'on a de 1'atmosphere morale q u i nous e n t o u r e . . . . l e s grands g e n i e s du passe ont e t e modernes a l e u r epoque, . . . i l s ont r e f l e t e l e s a g i t a t i o n s de l e u r temps. . .18 The concept of "modernity" had been a r e a s o n a b l y 42 p a l a t a b l e one t o the B r u s s e l s b o u r g e o i s i e i n 1885. The V i n g t i s t e s , though c r i t i c i z e d by some r e v i e w e r s f o r t h e i r weak c o m p o s i t i o n , i n c o m p r e h e n s i b l e s u b j e c t s or i n c o r r e c t c o l o u r , were, at the same tim e , t o l e r a t e d f o r t h e i r y o u t h -f u l n e s s , t h e i r a u d a c i t y and the n a t i o n a l i s t i c c h a r a c t e r some c r i t i c s n oted i n t h e i r i m p r e s s i o n i s t works when compared w i t h t h o s e of the French i n v i t e s . 1 9 i n 1886, however, the groups 1 s t i e s w i t h L ' A r t Moderne and the s o c i a l r e f o r m movement t h r e a t e n e d t o change the c h a r a c t e r of t h e i r p u b l i c image. The " a g i t a t i o n s ' o f t h e i r p e r i o d , " t h a t i s , the r e a l i t y of s o c i a l t u r m o i l , c o u p l e d w i t h m o d e r n i s t i d e a s from France, t r a n s f o r m e d t h e i r a v a n t -garde i d e n t i t y i n t o one t h a t was now p o t e n t i a l l y dangerous to t h e i r v i e w i n g p u b l i c . As f a r as the c o n s e r v a t i v e p r e s s were concerned, any m a n i f e s t a t i o n of r a d i c a l i s m c a r r i e d the c o n n o t a t i o n of s o c i a l anarchy. R a d i c a l i s m s i g n i f i e d a wrenching away from p a t e r n a l i s t i c c o n t r o l by the Church and the d i s s o l u -t i o n of t r a d i t i o n a l v a l u e s . Worst of a l l , i t h e r a l d e d the advent of s o c i a l u p h e a v a l and p o l i t i c a l i n s u r r e c t i o n . I n t h e i r p a p e r s , the s o c i a l i s t s emphasized t h a t the s t r i k e s and r i o t s of t h i s p e r i o d were not p a r t of a planned r e v o l u t i o n but a spontaneous outbreak of anger and f r u s t r a -t i o n . 2 0 However, the s e i n c i d e n t s were f o l l o w e d by the p u b -l i c a t i o n of A l f r e d Def u i s s e a u x ' s L_e Catechisme du Peuple 43 which s e r v e d t o i n s p i r e the workers t o f u r t h e r r e v o l t . Two hundred and s i x t y thousand c o p i e s were s o l d w i t h i n weeks of i t s p u b l i c a t i o n . 2 1 The pamphlet f o l l o w e d the format of a c h i l d ' s r e l i g i o u s c a t e c h i s m , which o u t l i n e d the b a s i c p r e c e p t s of r e l i g i o u s dogma: Premiere Lecon--De l a C o n d i t i o n du Peuple e t de son E s c l a v a g e . - - 1 . Qui e s - t u ? --R. Je s u i s un e s c l a v e . --2. Tu n'es done pas un homme? --R. Au p o i n t de vue de l ' h u m a n i t e , j e s u i s un homme; mais par r a p p o r t a l a s o c i e t e , j e s u i s un e s c l a v e . 2 2 In t h i s manner, D e f u i s s e a u x o u t l i n e d the c l a s s system which formed the b a s i s of the B e l g i a n S t a t e . Whether one was a " L i b e r a l " or a " C a t h o l i c " made no d i f f e r e n c e . E i t h e r one was the enemy of the w o r k i n g c l a s s , and "un homme q u i c h e r c h e ' a f f a i r e - s e s : . a f f a i r e s a u d e t r i m e n t de t r e s o r de l ' E t a t . " 2 3 The o n l y s o l u t i o n t o t h i s problem, a c c o r d i n g t o D e f u i s s e a u x , was u n i v e r s a l s u f f r a g e . For Les V i n g t , the v i o l e n c e and uphe a v a l t h a t f o l l o w e d the economic d e p r e s s i o n of 1886 c o u l d o n l y t h r e a t e n t o t o p p l e the f r a g i l e framework of an i d e o l o g y t h a t depended on a b a l a n c e between a commitment t o s o c i a l change and the n o n p a r t i s a n c o n s i d e r a t i o n s of modern a r t . In 1886, the q u a l i t i e s of b e i n g a v a n t -garde, t h a t i s , " i n t r a n s i g e n t " and "combative 1," were 44 beginning to take on dangerous c o n n o t a t i o n s . Les V i n g t ' s a f f i l i a t i o n s with L'Art Moderne only served to i n t e n s i f y the dangerous connotations of i t s i d e n t i t y . P i c a r d continued to champion the cause of s o c i a l r e v o l u t i o n . I n s p i r e d by the A n a r c h i s t movement i n France, he p u b l i s h e d a long a r t i c l e on a r t and r e v o l u t i o n i n L'Art Moderne p r o c l a i m i n g that "L'heure est venue, de tremper l a plume dans 1 1encre rouge."24 He r e g u l a r l y corresponded with Maus, who spent p a r t of 1886 i n P a r i s as L'Art Moderne's French c o r -respondent. P i c a r d was aware that Kropotkin's book Paroles d'un r e v o l t e had r e c e i v e d s t r o n g support from a l a r g e number of France's more r a d i c a l l y - m i n d e d a r t i s t s . In h i s book, Kropotkin had made a d i r e c t appeal to young a r t i s t s f o r a s o c i a l l y - r e l e v a n t a r t . He encouraged them to Narrate f o r us i n your v i v i d s t y l e or i n your f e r v e n t p i c t u r e s the t i t a n i c s t r u g g l e of the masses ag a i n s t t h e i r oppressors; inflame young hearts with the b e a u t i f u l breath of r e v o l u t i o n . 2 5 He urged a r t i s t s to "show the people the u g l i n e s s of contemporary l i f e and the ignominies of the s o c i a l order."26 Kropotkin's anarchism appealed to these young a r t i s t s because i t was a n t i - o f f i c i a l , i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c and r e v o l u -t i o n a r y . 2 7 These same q u a l i t i e s appealed to P i c a r d . 45 He wrote a review of Kropotkin's book f o r L'Art Moderne i n J u l y , 1886.28 T n e tone of the c r i t i q u e was l a u d a t o r y . Kropotkin's ideas may have f u r t h e r i n s p i r e d P i c a r d , i n the f o l l o w i n g month, to w r i t e another a r t i c l e e n t i t l e d " L ' a r t dans l a rue," based on h i s p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a l a r g e demonstration i n B r u s s e l s organized by the POB.29 i n the a r t i c l e P i c a r d l i k e n e d t h i s new s o c i a l phenomenon to . . . l a c o n s t r u c t i o n d'une oeuvre c o l o s s a l e , mouvante, e b l o u i s s a n t e , e t , par 1'impression qu.' i l s ' a g i t d ' un grand et touchant phenomene s o c i a l , . . .30 He d e s c r i b e d the scene of the parade i n e l a b o r a t e d e t a i l : l e d e f i l e r o u l e avec sa p a l p i t a t i o n continue de t e t e s comme s i l e cortege e n t i e r e t a i t un long serpent p r e c i p i t a n t sa r e s p i r a t i o n . 3 1 and emphasized the power of the crowds and the p r e v a i l -i n g s o c i a l i s t s p i r i t : Le drapeau rouge! sa hampe e s t formee d'un f a i s -ceau de piques. Du m i l i e u s o r t l a hache. E l l e porte l e bonnet phrygien. Et d e r r i e r e , l e s hommes ont tous un ruban, une cocarde, une f l e u r rouge, rouge, t o u j o u r s rouge. . . . Et constamment des drapeaux rouges succedant aux drapeaux rouges . . . . Les metiers succedent aux metiers avec l e u r s banderoles, l e u r s gonfanons portant des i n s c r i p t i o n s menacantes ou s u p p l i a n t e s , i r o n i q u e s ou t e r r i b l e s . 3 2 I t i s not s u r p r i s i n g that L'Art Moderne's e n t h u s i a s -t i c support of the workers' movement i n Belgium coupled with i t s s t r o n g endorsement of the A n a r c h i s t sympathies of i t s French c o u n t e r p a r t s k i n d l e d s t r o n g a t t a c k s a g a i n s t 46 the magazine's a l l y , Les V i n g t , from the c o n s e r v a t i v e s e c t o r s of the p r e s s and p u b l i c . " V i n g t i s m e ; " a neol o g i s m c o i n e d by a c r i t i c , now became a s s o c i a t e d w i t h s o c i a l a n a r c h i s m . I n F e b r u a r y , 1887, L' Ar t Moderne made the f o l l o w i n g s t atement i n r e g a r d t o t h i s a t t a c k on Les  V i n g t : "Ce MONSTRE q u i s ' a p p e l l e V i n g t i s m e " , d i s a i t gravement un j o u r n a l de p r o v i n c e , 1 1 an passe. Et a ce terme on a r a t t a c h e t o u t ce q u i e x i s t e de v i o l e n t , de tumultueux, de r e v o l u t i o n n a i r e , d 1 a n a r c h i s t e . V i n g t i s m e e t p e t r o l e u r s o n t pour c e r t a i n e s gens, termes synonymes.33 T h i s statement r a i s e s s e v e r a l q u e s t i o n s i n r e g a r d to Les V i n g t ' s p u b l i c i d e n t i t y at the o u t s e t of 1887. Does t h i s s t a tement suggest t h a t the e d i t o r s of L ' A r t  Moderne were a t t e m p t i n g t o deny a l l c o n n e c t i o n s between Les V i n g t ' s i d e o l o g i c a l s t a n c e and the reform movement or were they u s i n g t h i s a c c u s a t i o n s i m p l y t o draw a t t e n -t i o n t o the group? How would Les V i n g t ' s v i e w i n g aud-i e n c e — t h o s e now f a c e d w i t h the t h r e a t of the d e s t r u c t i o n of t h e i r p r o p e r t y and l o s s of p o l i t i c a l p o w e r — r e a c t i f t h i s c o n j u n c t i o n between s o c i a l anarchism and " V i n g t i s m e " c o n t i n u e d t o be promoted? As the e d i t o r s of L ' A r t Moderne must have r e a l i z e d , Les V i n g t ' s i d e o l o g i c a l a f f i l i a t i o n s w i t h the re f o r m move-ment c o u l d , under the p r e s e n t c i r c u m s t a n c e s , j e o p a r d i z e the s u r v i v a l of the group. The e x h i b i t i o n of 1 8 8 6 - - j u s t p r i o r t o the f i r s t o u tbreak of v i o l e n c e — h a d been Les 47 V i n g t ' s most s u c c e s s f u l . As Canning p o i n t s o u t , the e x h i b i t i o n proved so p o p u l a r w i t h the B r u s s e l s p u b l i c t h a t the show was extended an e x t r a week. When i t f i n a l l y c l o s e d , more than e i g h t thousand p e o p l e had seen the show. Furthermore, many of the e x h i b i t o r s , even Ensor and Redon who had r e c e i v e d much n e g a t i v e c r i t i c i s m from the p r e s s , s o l d t h e i r works.34 In the f a c e of Les V i n g t ' s l o s s of a r t i s t i c i n s u l a r -i t y at the b e g i n n i n g of 1887, Maus and P i c a r d r e a l i z e d t h a t , f o r the group t o s u r v i v e , they would have t o make some s i g n i f i c a n t a l t e r a t i o n s t o i t s avant-garde i d e n t i t y . T h i s was a c h i e v e d , i n p a r t , by e m p h a s i z i n g a more a p o l i t i c a l d e f i n i t i o n of the group's a c t i v i t i e s and by i n v i t i n g t o the e x h i b i t i o n s a r t i s t s who r e p r e s e n t e d a wide range of p i c t o r i a l s t y l e s . More s p e c i f i c a l l y , they t u r n e d t o P a r i s f o r t h e i r s o l u t i o n . 48 FOOTNOTES - CHAPTER TWO John D a v i d Farmer, i n Ensor -(New York: Georges B r a z i l l e r , 1976), pp. 16-17, e x p l a i n s t h a t B e l g i a n r e a l i s m which was t a u g h t i n the academies was "an i n s p i r -a t i o n a l r e a l i s m t h a t t r a n s c e n d e d the problems of a work-aday w o r l d . C o n t i g u o u s t o the c o n t r i v a n c e s of t h i s approach, however, t h e r e e x i s t e d a P l e i n a i r i s m and N a t u r a l i s m comparable t o t h a t of the B a r b i z o n S c h o o l i n France . . . c h a r a c t e r i z e d by an i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c c o n c e r n f o r l i g h t and t r u t h t o n a t u r e , and who p l a c e d themselves o u t s i d e the e s t a b l i s h m e n t . " B l o c k , pp. 151-152, p o i n t s out the d i f f e r e n c e s t h a t e x i s t e d between French and B e l g i a n I m p r e s s i o n i s m . The B e l g i a n s were l e s s s c i e n t i f i c i n t h e i r approach and were not o v e r t l y concerned w i t h d e p i c t i n g the k i n d s of modern s u b j e c t m a t t e r t h a t p r e o c c u p i e d the F r e n c h , such as c a f e l i f e , dance h a l l s and c i r c u s s c e n e s . The B e l g i a n s d i d , however, adopt the r a p i d b r u s h s t r o k e of t h e i r F rench c o u n t e r p a r t s . B l o c k , p. 152, a l s o adds t h i s commentary on why the B e l g i a n s were not more a t t r a c t e d to French I m p r e s s i o n i s m : " F i r s t , t h e r e a l r e a d y e x i s t e d a B e l g i a n t r a d i t i o n of d e p i c t i n g l i g h t and a t m o s p h e r i c e f f e c t s . The S c h o o l of T e r v u r e n , l e d by B o u l e n g e r , and the S.L.B.A., as shown i n A r t a n ' s work, s t r e s s e d p a i n t i n g from n a t u r e and a s t u d y of l i g h t . . . . S e c o n d l y , f o r the young a r t i s t s t h e r e was an u n d e r s t a n d a b l e i n c l i n a t i o n to emulate t h e i r a v a n t -garde p r e d e c e s s o r s . " 2 S e e " L ' E x p o s i t i o n des XX," L ' A r t Moderne IV ;(February 17, 1884): 49. The j o u r n a l w r i t e s : "D' abord,  1'etude e t 1 ' i n t e r p r e t a t i o n de l a r e a l i t e c o n temporaine . C e t t e r e g i e , l e s adeptes du mouvement l ' a p p l i q u e n t dans tous l e s elements de l ' a r t . Dans l e c h o i x du s u j e t . . . . l e paysage t e l q u ' i l e s t l a p a r t o u t autour de nous dans l e pays ou nous v i v o n s e t que nous c o n n a i s s o n s . L1homme et l a femme t e l s que nous l e s voyons v i v r e e t s ' a g i t e r . Les scenes de n o t r e e x i s t e n c e s o c i a l e l u x e u s e ou pauvre avec 1 ' i n t e r e t c o n s t a n t q u ' e l l e s p r e s e n t e n t . " 3 Georges Ver d a v a i n n e , " L ' E x p o s i t i o n des XX," La F e d e r a t i o n A r t i s t i q u e ( F e b r u a r y 13, 1886): 123. 4 B l o c k , pp. 36-38, d i s c u s s e s the debt Les V i n g t owed t o L ' E s s o r . Les V i n g t adopted s e v e r a l of i t s i n n o v -a t i o n s : hanging a l l the works of one a r t i s t t o g e t h e r ; i n c l u d i n g m u s i c a l s o i r e e s as p a r t of the show; and sponsor-i n g l e c t u r e s f o r the e x h i b i t i o n s . Farmer, p. 21, p o i n t s out t h a t , i n r e g a r d t o Ensor, L'Essor had r e f u s e d h i s 49 p a i n t i n g , Woman E a t i n g O y s t e r s , f o r t h e i r 1883 s a l o n . Ensor broke o f f r e l a t i o n s w i t h the group a f t e r t h i s i n c i d e n t . 5 "Le s a l o n de B r u x e l l e s , " L ' A r t Moderne IV (October 12, 1884): 330. ^"La jeune e c o l e , " L ' A r t Moderne IV (October 12, 1884): 330. T h i s l a s t phrase r e f e r s t o tho s e who were dev o t e d to French c u l t u r e as i t had been i m p o r t e d d u r i n g the time of e s t a b l i s h i n g Belgium's con-s t i t u t i o n . 7 In t h i s e s s a y . I have made use of the term, " l i b e r t a r i a n i s m , " i n i t s most g e n e r a l s e n s e — t h a t i s , t o r e f e r t o a b e l i e f i n a b s o l u t e freedom f o r the i n d i v -i d u a l . I t a l s o seems t h a t L ' A r t Moderne Is use of the concept was i n a n o n p o l i t i c a l sense. For more i n f o r m a t i o n r e g a r d i n g "anarchism" as a communal a t t i t u d e based on the i d e a of i n d i v i d u a l i s m , see Eugenia H e r b e r t , The  A r t i s t and S o c i a l Reform: France and Belgium, 1885-1898 (New Haven: Y a l e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1961). g Kossman, p. 342. 9 I b i d . " ^ I b i d . Kossman, p. 343, s t a t e s t h a t 59 wo r k e r s ' c o o p e r a t i v e s were r e p r e s e n t e d at the c o n g r e s s . He adds, "As a r e s u l t of i t s f e d e r a t e d s t r u c t u r e , the s u p p o r t i t found among the t r a d e u n i o n s , and i t s f i n a n c i a l depend-ence on the c o o p e r a t i v e s — w h i c h d e v e l o p e d more i m p r e s s i v e l y i n Belgium than anywhere e l s e i n Europe--by 1886 the Work-•-e r s ' P a r t y c o u l d a c t as the p o l i t i c a l organ of about 40,000 members b e l o n g i n g t o 160 w o r k e r s ' a s s o c i a t i o n s of w i d e l y d i v e r g e n t c h a r a c t e r . " "'""'"Kossman, p. 342. I b i d . The e f f o r t s of the new p a r t y were dominated by p r a c t i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . As L o u i s B e r t r a n d p o i n t s out i n H i s t o i r e de l a d e m o c r a t i e e t du s o c i a l i s m e en B e l g i q u e d e p u i s 1830, V o l . 2 ( B r u x e l l e s : Dechenne e t C i e . , 1907), p. 452, the f i r s t d e c i s i o n of the POB was to s e t a da t e 50 f o r a d e m o n s t r a t i o n i n f a v o u r of u n i v e r s a l s u f f r a g e f o r June of 1886. I t d i r e c t e d i t s e f f o r t s towards o r g a n i z i n g a s t r o n g movement aimed at r e v i s i n g the a r t i c l e i n the B e l g i a n c o n s t i t u t i o n which d e n i e d v o t i n g power t o the w o r k i n g c l a s s . The means t o t h i s end were through the p r e s s , c o n f e r e n c e s , p u b l i c meetings and d e m o n s t r a t i o n s which would s t r e n g t h e n the power of the movement. 13 The d e m o n s t r a t i o n , s t r i k e s and r i o t s of t h i s p e r i o d s e r v e d t o s o l i d i f y the workers' commitment t o g a i n t h e i r r i g h t t o v o t e . I t came t o be viewed as a panacea f o r a l l t h e i r i l l s . Kossman, p. 318, p o i n t s out t h a t the l e t t e r s SU ( s u f f r a g e u n i v e r s a l ) took on r e l i g i o u s o v e r t o n e s and f u n c t i o n e d f o r the i l l i t e r a t e B e l g i a n workers as the i c h t h y s s i g n had f o r the e a r l y C h r i s t i a n and the c r o s s f o r the c r u s a d e r s . " ^ P i r e n n e , p. 303. 1 5 J . F. R a f f a e l l i , "Le l a i d dans l ' a r t , " L ' A r t Moderne V (March 1, 1885): 67. " ^ I b i d . , p. 68. 1 7 I b i d . I b i d . 19 Canning, p. 102. 20 Kossman, p. 318. 2 1 B e r t r a n d , p. 384. 22 I b i d . 2 3 I b i d . , pp. 385-386. 24 Edmond P i c a r d , " L ' A r t e t l a r e v o l u t i o n , " L ' A r t Moderne VI ( J u l y 18, 1886): 225. T h i s was the f i r s t of t h r e e a r t i c l e s devoted t o K r o p o t k i n ' s works. 25 E g b e r t , p. 226. 51 26 T, . , I b i d . 27 I b i d . 2 8 I t was l i s t e d under the t i t l e , " L ' a r t e t l a r e v o l u t i o n . " See f o o t n o t e 24. 29 Edmond P i c a r d , " L ' A r t dans l a r u e , " L ' A r t  Moderne VI (August 22, 1886): 266-268. 30 I b i d . , p. 266 . 31 I b i d . , p. 267 . 32 I b i d . 33 "Le ' v i n g t i s m e , ' " L ' A r t Moderne V I I (Fe b r u a r y 20, 1887): 58. The term, " p e t r o l e u r " r e f e r s t o i n d i v i d u a l s who p a r t i c i p a t e i n f i r e - b o m b i n g s and r e l a t e d a c t i v i t i e s . Canning, p. 123. Maus and P i c a r d o f t e n bought works e x h i b i t e d i n the V i n g t i s t e s ' s a l o n s . They encour-aged t h e i r c i r c l e of f r i e n d s t o do so as w e l l . 52 CHAPTER THREE 1887—THE YEAR OF LA GRANDE JATTE: THE CHIMERA OF REVOLUTION AND THE VISION OF UTOPIA D e s p i t e Les V i n g t ' s a d v e r s a r i a l image, by 1887 a l a r g e number of the B r u s s e l s b o u r g e o i s i e were i n f a t u a t e d w i t h i t s annual e x h i b i t i o n s . They were " l e T o u t - B r u x e l l e s a r t i s t e , l e s gens q u i c o n n a i s s e n t l e s p e i n t r e s , q u i aiment du Wagner e t mettent sur l e u r g u e r i d o n l e d e r n i e r roman de P a r i s . " ! E v i d e n c e of t h i s g r owing acceptance even extended t o the r e v i e w s of the annual shows, wherein a growing number of the c r i t i c s e x p r e s s e d the o p i n i o n t h a t , i n d e e d , the group was b e g i n n i n g t o show s i g n s of r e p r e s e n t i n g a b r i g h t e r f u t u r e f o r B e l g i a n a r t . Many of t h e s e c r i t i c s were a s s o c i a t e d w i t h j o u r n a l s and papers t h a t g e n e r a l l y took a moderate, and i n some c a s e s , c o n s e r v a t i v e s t a n c e on most s o c i a l and a r t i s t i c i s s u e s . Now, as the f o l l o w i n g comment i l l u s t r a t e s , t h e s e c r i t i c s were e c h o i n g the same d e c l a r a t i o n s made by L ' A r t Moderne: Les V i n g t i s t e s avec beaucoup de courage, ont essaye de c r e e r un mouvement, de donner une d i r e c t i o n n o u v e l l e a l ' a r t n a t i o n a l , une i m p u l s i o n i r r e s i s t i b l e aux i d e e s en en f o n c a n t a coups de p o i n g l a p o r t e b r a n l a n t e des p r e -j u g e s , des p o n c i f s , de t o u t ce q u i e s t v i e u x , e t a b a t a r d i , encombrait ou t e n a i t en f r i c h e l e domaine a r t i s t i q u e . 2 The j o u r n a l a v a i l e d i t s e l f of t h i s i n c r e a s e i n 53 p u b l i c acceptance f o r Les V i n g t by r e m i n d i n g i t s r e a d e r s of i t s r o l e i n h e l p i n g t o b r i n g about t h i s new a r t i s t i c e r a i n Belgium. In i t s i n a u g u r a l a r t i c l e f o r the y e a r , L ' A r t Moderne r e a f f i r m e d i t s advocacy of those q u a l i t i e s which dominated Les V i n g t ' s p u b l i c image: L ' O r i g i n a l i t e independante! T o u j o u r s nous 1 1avons defendue, t o u j o u r s nous serons ses p l u s a r d e n t s champions. . . . Et c ' e s t p o u r q u o i on nous a t o u j o u r s vus, a 1'avant-garde, f a i r e l e coup de f e u pour l e s p l u s avarices, pour l e s p l u s exposes. C'est dans l e u r s rangs qu 1 on r e c r u t e l e s appor-t e u r s de neuf, . . . The e d i t o r s c l a i m e d t o f a c i l i t a t e communication between these a r t i s t s who p r a c t i c e d the p r i n c i p l e s of modernite and t h e i r a u d i e n c e : Notre r o l e devant une oeuvre s e r a avant t o u t de l ' e x p l i q u e r e t de l a f a i r e comprendre, a f i n que l e p u b l i c p u i s s e j u g e r par lui-meme. 4 Maus and P i c a r d b e l i e v e d they were a b l e to f u l f i l l t h i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y as i m p a r t i a l commentators because of t h e i r u n q u a l i f i e d commitment t o s u p p o r t a b s o l u t e freedom of e x p r e s s i o n f o r a l l a r t i s t s : Nous avouons ingenument que nous commengons a u j o u r d ' h u i ce j o u r n a l sans p a r t i - p r i s d ' e c o l e , sans p r e o c c u p a t i o n aucune de r e g i e , de code ou de symbole. Ou s i 1'on veut absolument que nous i n d i q u i o n s une tendance, nous d i r o n s que 1'Art pour nous e s t l e c o n t r a i r e meme de t o u t e r e c e t t e e t de t o u t e formule.5 By m a i n t a i n i n g t h i s facade of i m p a r t i a l i t y , L ' A r t  Moderne's e d i t o r s c o n t i n u e d t o j u s t i f y t h e i r s e l f -p r o c l a i m e d a u t h o r i t y as the t h e o r i s t s who f o r m a l i z e d 54 the language and d e f i n e d the p r e c e p t s of the B e l g i a n a v a n t - g a r d e . But p r o g r a m m a t i c a l l y , the j o u r n a l ' s i n s i s -t e n t defence of the i d e a s of freedom and p r o b i t y a l s o meant t h a t i t s c r i t i c a l t r e a tment of Les V i n g t ' s a c t i v -i t i e s had t o u p h o l d the n o t i o n t h a t the a r t i s t s ' group f u n c t i o n e d f r e e l y and i n d e p e n d e n t l y from a l l o u t s i d e c o n t r o l — e v e n from L ' A r t Moderne. "Mais s i pour nous l e p r i n c i p e de 1 1 A r t e s t l a s p o n t a n e i t e , de m^ me nous entendons r e v e n d i q u e r une l i b e r t e e n t i e r e . " 6 For Maus and P i c a r d o p e n l y t o admit t o the e x t e n t of the V i n g t i s t e s ' dependency on L ' A r t Moderne would have been seen as an o b v i o u s d i s c r e p a n c y i n Les V i n g t ' s l i b e r t a r i a n , a n a r c h i s t c o n s t i t u t i o n . At the same tim e , the j o u r n a l ' s esteemed r e p u t a t i o n depended almost e n t i r e l y on the e q u i v o c a l p o s i t i o n i t p u b l i c l y m a i n t a i n e d i n r e g a r d t o Les V i n g t . I t s defence of the group's p u r s u i t s and the l o n g a r t i c l e s which o u t l i n e d i t s m o t i v a t i o n s and g o a l s drew a l a r g e r e a d i n g audience from a l l o v e r . t h e N e t h e r -l a n d s and Belgium, e s p e c i a l l y w i t h i n a r t i s t i c c i r c l e s . 7 I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t , t h e r e f o r e , t h a t i n e a r l y 1887 L ' A r t Moderne's t a c t i c a l approach t o p u b l i c i z i n g the a c t i v i t i e s of the a r t i s t s ' group underwent n o t a b l e r e -v i s i o n s . These a l t e r a t i o n s were c a l c u l a t e d t o r e p r e s s the n o t i o n of " V i n g t i s m e " b e i n g promulgated by a n t a g o n i s t i c members of the p r e s s . Maus and P i c a r d r e a l i z e d t h a t , 55 g i v e n the c u r r e n t s o c i a l c l i m a t e , a l l o w i n g t h i s n o t i o n t o p r e v a i l would t h r e a t e n Les V i n g t ' s e x h i b i t i o n s and, u l t i m a t e l y , L ' A r t Moderne i t s e l f . In t h e i r campaign a g a i n s t the n o t i o n of " V i n g t isme','" the e d i t o r s f i r s t armed themselves w i t h a r e v i s e d d e f i n i t i o n of Belgium's a r t i s t i c vanguard. The j o u r n a l ' s d i s c u s s i o n s of Les V i n g t n o t i c e a b l y s h i f t e d t o an emphasis on the i d e a t h a t i t s members were concerned "only w i t h the defence of a r t i s t i c freedom and t h a t the group's l i b e r t a r i a n , n o n - p a r t i s a n c h a r a c t e r , f a r from a l i g n i n g i t s members w i t h the e f f o r t s of A n a r c h i s t s and r a d i c a l s , s i g n i f i e d p o l i t i c a l n e u t r a l i t y . The e d i t o r s p r e s e n t e d l i b e r t a r i a n i s m as an a p o l i t i c a l p r i n c i p l e which, i n f a c t , i n s u l a t e d i t s f o l l o w e r s from a l l p a r t i s a n t e n ^ d e n c i e s but s u p p o r t e d the common cause of s o c i a l p r o g r e s s . In Maus' e s t i m a t i o n , the a r t i s t i c m a n i f e s t a t i o n of e v o l u t -i o n a r y p r o g r e s s — m o d e r n i t e — w a s a p r i n c i p l e t h a t e x i s t e d , back t o back, w i t h the p r i n c i p l e of a r t i s t i c freedom. In h i s words, Qu 1 on f o n d a n t une a s s o c i a t i o n l e s v i n g t a r t i s t e s q u i se s o n t tendus l e s mains ont eu l a pensee de c r e e r une e x p o s i t i o n q u i r e a l i s a t , l e p l u s com-pletement p o s s i b l e , l a forme moderne de l ' a r t chacun s ' i n s p i r a n t d ' a i l l e u r s , pour 1'expres-s i o n de c e t a r t , de son temperament. . . .8 The j o u r n a l ' s d i s c u s s i o n s now emphasized the a r t i s t i c a s p e c t s of the group's a c t i v i t i e s . Maus attempted t o r e s t r u c t u r e Les V i n g t ' s i d e n t i t y by f o c u s s i n g on i t s 56 l i b e r t a r i a n q u a l i t i e s as they r e l a t e d t o the p r o d u c t i o n of a r t and, a t the same time, by downplaying the p o l i t i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s of the group's combative image. The i d e a s of e v o l u t i o n , modernity and i n d i v i d u a l i s m were p r e s e n t e d as n o n - p a r t i s a n v a l u e s : Nous avons d i t : Les XX ne c o n s t i t u e n t pas une ECOLE. Ce ne sont pas l e s p r o t a g o n i s t e s d'une DOCTRINE. Et nous avons a j o u t e : i l s n'ont pas l a MEME TECHNIQUE. Mais i l s e x i s t e e n t r e eux une a f f i n i t e p l u s e t r o i t e e t d 1 u n o r d r e s u p e r i e u r . . . . C'es t , t o u t simplement, une commune a s p i r a t i o n v e r s un a r t s i n c e r e , l i b r e , p e r s o n n e l , . . . In a second s t r a t e g y , Maus and P i c a r d t r i e d t o reduce t h i s tempered avant-garde i d e o l o g y t o an a e s t h e t i c form-u l a t i o n which would c a n c e l a l l p r e v i o u s a s s o c i a t i o n s w i t h p o l i t i c a l extremism. When Maus was i n P a r i s i n 1886, he rev i e w e d the I m p r e s s i o n i s t e x h i b i t i o n where Georges S e u r a t ' s La Grande J a t t e ( f i g u r e 1) was on view. H i s f i r s t r e a c t i o n t o i t r e v e a l s a h e s i t a n c y and l a c k o f comprehension: Les f i g u r e s s o n t en b o i s , naivement s c u l p t e e s au t o u r comme l e s p e t i t s s o l d a t s q u i nous v i e n n e n t de l ' A l l e m a g n e . . . .10 Yet he a l s o r e a l i z e d t h a t t h i s p a i n t i n g would c r e a t e a g r e a t s e n s a t i o n i n B r u s s e l s : La c o m p o s i t i o n a un aspect geometrique. P e i n t e d'un bout a 1'autre a p e t i t s coups de pi n c e a u x d'egale d i m e n s i o n , s o r t e de p o i n t i l l e m i n i s c u l e , on l a c r o i r a i t brodee s u r canevas au moyen de l a i n e s de c o u l e u r s , ou t i s s e e a i n s i qu'une t o i l e de h a u t e - l i c e . A B r u x e l l e s , l a G r a n d e - J a t t e 57 f e r a i t s c a n d a l e . I I y a u r a i t , s i e l l e e t a i t exposee, des cas s u b i t s d ' a l i e n a t i o n mentale e t des a p o p l e x i e s f o u d r o y a n t e s . H He f e l t t h a t S e u r a t 1 s d i v i s i o n i s t p a i n t i n g s m e r i t e d fur-;.. -t h e r c o n s i d e r a t i o n because they . . . r e v e l e n t une n a t u r e a r t i s t i q u e s i n g u l i e r e -ment apte a decomposer l e s phenomenes de l a l u m i e r e , a en p e n e t r e r l a p r i s m e , a en e x p r i m e r , par des moyens s i m p l e s mais savamment combines, l e s e f f e t s l e s p l u s compliques e t l e s p l u s i n t e n s e s . 1 2 He even l i o n i z e d S e u r a t as a ". . . messie d 1 u n a r t nouveau."13 P i c a r d q u i c k l y wrote back, e n c o u r a g i n g Maus to i n v i t e him t o e x h i b i t a t Les Vingt4-4 While i n P a r i s , Maus a l s o wrote t o V i n g t i s t e Eugene Boch about h i s p l a n s f o r the 1887 e x h i b i t i o n . I f Maus was g o i n g to i n v i t e someone who was bound t o c r e a t e an u p r o a r at the e x h i b i t i o n , he was a l s o g o i n g t o be s u r e t h e r e were o t h e r i n v i t e s who were c e r t a i n t o a p p e a l t o the t a s t e s of the B r u s s e l s b o u r g e o i s i e : A p a r t P u v i s e t Degas empeche, tous nos i n v i t e s ont a c c e p t e . I I y a en aura pour tous l e s gout, des ' s e r r e s 1 e t des ' l a c h e s ) ' des ' i m p r e s s i o n i s t e s ' e t des ' i n t e n t i o n n i s t e s ' e t des ' i m p o s s i b i l i s t e s . ' 1 5 F u r t h e r m o r e , t h i s e c l e c t i c s a m p l i n g of a r t i s t i c s t y l e s would a c t as a b u f f e r between the French N e o - I m p r e s s i o n i s t s and Les V i n g t ' s d e t r a c t o r s , and would d i f f u s e some of the propaganda aimed at a l i g n i n g the group w i t h A n a r c h i s t a c t i v i t i e s . C o n t r a r y t o t h e i r p r e v i o u s t a c t i c s , L ' A r t Moderne's 58 e d i t o r s attempted t o i n s p i r e a p o s i t i v e r e c e p t i o n from the B e l g i a n p u b l i c f o r the French i n v i t e s . Because Maus and P i c a r d were p l a n n i n g t o use Neo-Impressionism t o c o n s t r u c t a more d e p o l i t i c i z e d image f o r Les V i n g t , i t was i m p o r t a n t t h a t Neo-Impressionism be p r e s e n t e d as a p a l a t a b l e i t e m f o r the B r u s s e l s b o u r g e o i s i e . F e l i x Feneon was asked t o r e v i e w the second Independent e x h i b i t i o n f o r the j o u r n a l and i n i t , Feneon c o n c e n t r a t e d h i s d i s c u s s i o n on the d i v i s i o n i s t works i n the show.16 In the preamble t o the 1887 e x h i b i t i o n c a t a l o g u e Maus devo t e d a g r e a t d e a l of h i s d i s c u s s i o n t o d e m o n s t r a t i n g the c o m p a t i b i l i t y t h a t e x i s t e d between d i v i s i o n i s m and the g o a l s of the V i n g t i s t e s . Maus a s s e r t e d t h a t b o t h the p a i n t e r s of d i v i s i o n i s m and the V i n g t i s t e s s h a r e d a p r i m a r y c o n c e r n w i t h d e p i c t i n g con-temporary r e a l i t y ; but more i m p o r t a n t l y , b oth were commit-t e d t o the i d e a of i n d i v i d u a l i s m . Que l e s S i g n a c , l e s Seurat s 1 e n t h o u s i a s m e n t pour l e s gazometres, l e s p a l i s s a d e s e t l e s g a r e s , r i e n de mieux. Mais ce q u i e s t i n s u p p o r t a b l e , . . c ' e s t l a f u r e u r d ' i m i t a t i o n . . . . de v o i r g a l o p e r t o u t e c e t t e meute dans l a m^ me d i r e c t i o n . Car ce q u i l e s pousse a p e i n d r e des gazometres e t des g a r e s , ce n ' e s t p o i n t parce que ses monuments, e d i f i e s par l a moderne i n d u s t r i e , a l l u m e n t en eux l ' e t i n c e l l e a r t i s t i q u e , mais uniquement pa r c e que ce s o n t des gazometres e t des g a r e s , o b j e t s qu'on n ' a v a i t guere songe. j u s q u ' i c i a v e n c a d r e r d'une bordure d'or. En a u t r e s termes, p a r c e que c ' e s t l a Mode.-'-7 F u r t h e r m o r e , the e d i t o r s of L ' A r t Moderne c o n s c i o u s -l y s t r i p p e d Neo-Impressionism of i t s a s s o c i a t i o n s w i t h 59 p o l i t i c a l Anarchism, thereby p r o v i d i n g a v i s u a l i d e o l o g y f o r Les Vingt which was modern and p r o g r e s s i v e , but a l s o safe.18 "La Mode," as i t was d e f i n e d i n the images shown by Signac and Seurat, f u r n i s h e d a new f o r m u l a t i o n f o r the j o u r n a l ' s a r t i s t i c d o c t r i n e of modernite, but now marked i n n o n - p o l i t i c a l terms. L'Art Moderne's e d i t o r i a l s on Neo-Impressionism were d e t a i l e d e x p o s i t i o n s of d i v i s i o n i s t technique and c o l o u r theory which d i v e s t e d the a r t s t y l e of any A n a r c h i s t connotations and d i s t r a c t e d the viewing p u b l i c ' s a t t e n t i o n away from the i s s u e of "Vingtisme." The revered i d e a l s p r e v i o u s l y a s s o c i a t e d with the n o t i o n of " s o c i a l a r t , " now forsaken, were r e p l a c e d with d i v i s i o n i s t formulations--harmonious treatment of c o l o u r and form, c l a r i t y , l o g i c , permanence, beauty, s c i e n c e - - a l l of which 1 Q might n e u t r a l i z e the concept of "Vingtisme. "-L:7 T h i s new, " d e p o l i t i c i z e d " form of Neo-Impressionsim -a l s o s i g n i f i e d a detachment from n a t i o n a l i s t i d e a l s . The p r e f e r e n t i a l treatment Maus and P i c a r d gave to t h i s import-ed a r t s t y l e s i g n i f i e d a break i n the important e v o l u t i o n a r y l i n k t h a t had bonded Les Vingt to i t s B e l g i a n antecedents. To be t r u l y avant-garde, L'Art Moderne i n t i m a t e d , the group had u l t i m a t e l y to r i s e above n a t i o n a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . But i n p r a c t i c a l terms, t h i s a r t i s t i c caesura more s i g n i f i c a n t l y r e p r e s e n t e d an i n t e n t i o n a l d i s t a n c i n g from t h e i r own s o c i a l m i l i e u . 60 The p u b l i c i t y L ' A r t Moderne p r o v i d e d f o r S e u r a t 1 s appearance i n B r u s s e l s proved to be enormously s u c c e s s f u l . A c c o r d i n g t o one c r i t i c ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of the o p e n i n g , Une f o u l e en d e l i r e se t a s s e devant l a t o i l e du P a r i s i e n S e u r a t : La_ Grande J a t t e . V o i l a du moins une oeuvre q u i n'est pas p e s s i m i s t e . . . . Ce q u i Seura, Seura. Et t o u t l e monde b o i t un coup a l a Grande J a t t e . 2 0 A l t h ough t h e r e were v i r u l e n t a t t a c k s d i r e c t e d at S e urat and h i s c o l l e a g u e s , the 1887 s a l o n proved to be the b e s t a t t e n d e d of a l l the shows Maus had o r g a n i z e d . Une grande pre m i e r e a tapage que 1 ' o u v e r t u r e du s a l o n des XX. C ' e t a i t h i e r a deux'heures. I I y a v a i t t o u t l e monde; i l n ' e t a i t pas une de nos j o l i e s femmes q u i n'eut tenu a se montrer l a . 2 1 P a r t of t h i s s u c c e s s can be a t t r i b u t e d t o Maus' j u d i c i o u s c h o i c e of i n v i t e s . As he had suggested to Boch, the show c o n t a i n e d something f o r everyone. In the antechamber of the s a l o n the works of o l d e r e s t a b l i s h e d B e l g i a n a r t i s t s were on view, i n c l u d i n g works by L o u i s A r t a n , H e n r i de B r a e k e l e e r , and Eugene Smits.22 B e s i d e s s u b s c r i b i n g t o t a s t e s f o r more t r a d i t i o n a l B e l g i a n a r t , the i n c l u s i o n of t h e s e a r t i s t s was meant t o e x e m p l i f y : f i r s t , t h a t Les V i n g t ' s t o l e r a n c e of a r t i s t i c freedom went so f a r as t o i n c l u d e o b v i o u s academic t e n d e n c i e s ; and s e c o n d l y , t h a t modernity i n a r t had a r e s p e c t a b l e a n c e n t r y which v a l i d a t e d even the most r a d i c a l t e n d e n c i e s . A l t h o u g h Maus' s t r a t e g y of i n c l u d i n g r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s 61 of t r a d i t i o n a l a r t may have h e l p e d i n some degree t o ensure the s u c c e s s of the 1887 s a l o n , i t was S e u r a t 1 s p a i n t i n g t h a t a t t r a c t e d most of the a t t e n t i o n of the B r u s s e l s b o u r g e o i s i e . S i g n a c , who a t t e n d e d the opening of the show, d e c r i b e d h i s e x p e r i e n c e t o P i s s a r r o i n a l e t t e r : I have j u s t l e f t the e x h i b i t i o n e xhausted. An enormous crowd, a t e r r i b l e t h r o n g , v e r y b o u r g e o i s and a n t i - a r t i s t . A l l i n a l l i t i s a g r e a t s u c c e s s t o us. S e u r a t 1 s canvas was p r a c t i c a l l y i n v i s i b l e , i t was i m p o s s i b l e t o get near i t , so dense was the crowd. The e x h i b i t i o n room i s a m a g n i f i c e n t g a l l e r y of the museum, ve r y l a r g e , w i t h e x c e l l e n t l i g h t . I t i s i m p o s s i b l e t o f i n d a n y t h i n g b e t t e r . 2 3 S c a t h i n g a t t a c k s made a t S e u r a t ' s e n t r i e s by c r i t i c s r e p r e -s e n t i n g the more c o n s e r v a t i v e papers o n l y h e l p e d t o f u e l the c u r i o s i t y of the B r u s s e l s s a l o n - g o e r s . I n the C a t h o l i c newspaper, J o u r n a l de B r u x e l l e s , F r a n c i s Nautet wrote t h a t , i n the case of S e u r a t ' s work, he . . . n'y v o i s r i e n qu'une o r i g i n a l i t e e t une e x p r e s s i o n f a u s s e . . . . M. Seurat v o i t sechement. I l n'y a n i f o r c e , n i g r a c e , n i c h a l e u r , n i emotion dans sa Grande J a t t e . 2 4 Georges Verdavainne a t t a c k e d Seurat and Sig n a c f o r what he c o n s i d e r e d the r e a c t i o n a r y c h a r a c t e r of t h e i r work: P r a c t i c i e n s p a t i e n t s , i l s p e i g n e n t comme on assemble l e s p i e c e s m i n u s c u l e s d'une mosaique . . . . C e t t e vue de l a Grande J a t t e , c o n s t r u i t e comme un j e u de p a t i e n c e , vous a p p a r a i t r a dans t o u t e 1 ' i n f e r i o r i t e de son i n s p i r a t i o n . La p e i n t u r e c o mprise e t executee a i n s i d e v i e n t p l u s c o n v e n t i o n e l l e que l a p e i n t u r e l a p l u s academique. A u s s i Seurat n ' e s t - i l qu'un r e a c t i o n n a i r e f o r c e n e , pourvoyeur d'un genre mesquin, a r t e t r o i t , sans p o r t e e , sans v a l e u r . 2 5 62 Along w i t h t h i s s p e c i f i c a t t a c k at the r e t a r d a t a i r e q u a l i t i e s of the French i n v i t e s ' s t y l e , V erdavainne accused the V i n g t i s t e s , as a group, of not l i v i n g up t o t h e i r image of modern a r t ' s i n t r a n s i g e n t r a d i c a l s - He b e l i e v e d t h a t beneath the r h e t o r i c of c o m b a t t i v e n e s s and o r i g i n a l i t y one found the u n i m p r e s s i v e e f f o r t s of a r t i s t s who o f f e r e d l i t t l e t o d i s t i n g u i s h themselves from t h e i r p r e d e c e s s o r s . Les V i n g t i s t e s ne s o n t pas des r e v o l u t i o n n a i r e s decidement, r i e n que des e v o l u t i o n n i s t e s . l i s b a t a i l l e n t comme d ' a u t r e s pour l e s u c c e s , avec p l u s d ' h a b i l e t e , avec moins de c o n v i c t i o n . . . i l s v i s e n t a 1 ' o r i g i n a l i t e sans se p r e o c c u p e r autrement des p r i n c i p e s . 2 6 He f e l t t h a t they had l i t t l e t o o f f e r the p u b l i c i n the way of r e a l i n n o v a t i o n s . R a t h e r , t h e i r r a d i c a l image was based p u r e l y on L ' A r t Moderne's d i s c o u r s e which h e l p e d t o draw c u r i o u s crowds, but which had no r e a l s u b s t a n c e b e h i n d i t . Pendant t r o i s ans l a f o u l e a t t i r e e par une h a b i l e e t tapageuse r e c l a m e , e s t venue a eux, l e u r dem-andant ce q u ' i l s v o u l a i e n t , ce q u ' i l s e n s e i g n -a i e n t , en un mot q u e l l e e t a i t l e u r r e l i g i o n a r t -i s t i q u e . La f o u l e a de ces c u r i o s i t e s p u e r i l e s ! . . . Le p u b l i c p a t i e n t e t bon e n f a n t ne s'en f o r m a l i s a i t pas. 'L'an p r o c h a i n , d i s a i t - i l , l e s tatonnements i n e v i t a b l e s du debut . . . j p a r a i t r o n t e t 1'on s e r a f i x e s u r l e u r s tendances; on n'aura r i e n perdu pour a t t e n d r e . ' Bon p u b l i c d'amateurs b i e n v e i l l a n t s , de c r i t i q u e s i n d u l -g e n t s , d'amis c r e d u l e s , t u ne f u s pas trompe .. . „ . L' an p r o c h a i n , nous saurons ce q u ' i l a d v i e n d r a des XX e t s ' i l s t r o u v e r e n t une d o c t r i n e ; j u s q u ' i c i i l s nous montrent des p e i n t u r e s e v o l u t i o n n a n t sans cesse mais pas 1'ombre d'un p r i n c i p e fondamental c a p a b l e d ' e c l a i r e r l e s jeunes q u i e n t r e n t dans l a c a r r i e r e . ^ ' T h i s a b i l i t y on the p a r t of Maus and P i c a r d t o a t t r a c t the 63 c r o w d s t o L e s V i n g t ' s e x h i b i t i o n was e n h a n c e d by a n o t h e r t a c t i c a l c h a n g e . They a t t e m p t e d t o m o l l i f y t h e p u b l i c by a p p e a l i n g t o i t s a b i l i t y t o c o m p r e h e n d , and t h u s s h a r e , i n t h i s s o c i a l p r o c e s s c a l l e d " m o d e r n i t y . " The e d i t o r s com-p l a i n e d t h a t L e s V i n g t was u n j u s t l y v i c t i m i z e d by c e r t a i n members o f t h e p r e s s who, b e c a u s e t h e y were o n l y enamoured w i t h an o u t d a t e d a c a d e m i c s t y l e , were u n a b l e t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e work o f t h e s e y o u n g a r t i s t s . . . . l e p u b l i c commence a c o m p r e n d r e . En v a i n , une p r e s s e q u i n'a p l u s n i a u t o r i t e p o l i t i q u e , t a n t e l l e a f a i t de p a l i n o d i e s , n i a u t o r i t e a r t i s t i q u e , t a n t e l l e a e c r i t d ' ^ n e r i e s , j a c a s s e e t c r a c h e s a m a u v a i s e humeur. . . . On s e d e g o u t e de l a v i e i l l e s a u c e d e s p e i n t u r e s a c a d e m i q u e s . 2 8 More t h a n t w e l v e t h o u s a n d p e o p l e v i s i t e d t h e show t h a t y e a r . 2 9 Many a r t i s t s s o l d w o r k s and, g e n e r a l l y , t h e e x h i - ; > b i t i o n was c o n s i d e r e d a f i n a n c i a l s u c c e s s . L_a G r a n d e J a t t e was g i v e n t h e l a r g e s t c r e d i t f o r t h i s a c h i e v e m e n t , and t h e r e -f o r e , L ' A r t Moderne c o n t i n u e d t o c a m p a i g n f o r t h e a d o p t i o n o f d i v i s i o n i s m by t h e V i n g t i s t e s . A r t , t h e e d i t o r s p r o p h -e s i e d , had b e g u n a new e r a . W i t h i n t h e i r i d e o l o g y o f m o d e r n i t y was t h e b e l i e f t h a t , i n o r d e r t o f u l f i l l t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s o f t h i s d o c t r i n e , i t was n e c e s s a r y t o e v o l v e c o n s t a n t l y f r o m a c c e p t e d f o r m s t o new o n e s . N e o - I m p r e s s i o n i s m was, l o g i c a l l y , t h e n e x t s t e p i n t h a t e v o l u t i o n a r y p r o c e s s . " R e v o l u t i o n " as an i d e a l h a d g r a d u a l l y b e e n s u p p l a n t e d by t h e c o n c e p t o f " e v o l u t i o n , " 64 which was more c o m p a t i b l e w i t h the i d e o l o g y espoused by t h e i r b o u r g e o i s a u d i e n c e . E v o l u t i o n i n the a r t s was, t h e r e b y , c o t e r m i n u s w i t h the same l o g i c a l , i n e v i t a b l e continuum which d e f i n e d the l i b e r a l - c a p i t a l i s t p e r s p e c t i v e . The e d i t o r ' s s t a n c e r e a f f i r m e d the n o t i o n t h a t i t was not by r e v o l u t i o n and anarchism, but by g r a d u a l r e o r g a n i z a t i o n t h a t s o c i e t y would p r o g r e s s i n t o i t s f u t u r e . " M o d e r n i t y " was a m a n i f e s t a t i o n of the concept of e v o l u -t i o n a r y change. Les V i n g t had based i t s c r e d i b i l i t y on i t s commitment t o t h i s i d e a by c o n t i n u i n g the work of i t s B e l g i a n a n t e c e d e n t s . I t was a c o n v i c t i o n which c a r r i e d w i t h i t the n e c e s s i t y of c o n t i n u a l l y r e j e c t i n g and s u r -p a s s i n g t h a t which had become the s t a t u s quo. In March of 1887 L ' A r t Moderne r e p r i n t e d an a r t i c l e by C a m i l l e Lemonnier t h a t s u p p o r t e d the i d e a of the e v o l u t i o n a r y n a t u r e of modern a r t . He wrote t h a t the g o a l of a r t was . . . l a m o d e r n i s a t i o n du procede e t de l a s e n s a t i o n , r e p r i s e apres eux par l a g e n era-t i o n n o u r r i e de l e u r m o e l l e e t , jusqu'en 1 1 a c t u e l l e e v o l u t i o n , t o u j o u r s p r o p u l s e e v e r s des s o l u t i o n s g r a d u e l l e m e n t p l u s r a d i c a l e s . 3 0 In e f f e c t , L ' A r t Moderne was demanding a r e v i s i o n of Les  V i n g t ' s p u b l i c i d e n t i t y based on i t s a d o p t i o n of d i v i s -i o n i s m . The p r e s s u r e on the V i n g t i s t e s t o a c cept t h i s r e v i s e d d e f i n i t i o n of t h e i r a vant-garde i d e n t i t y was en-ormous. By 1888 almost every V i n g t i s t e had found a com-65 f o r t a b l e n i c h e w i t h i n L ' A r t M oderne's s t r u c t u r e o f t h e g r o u p , o r had w i t h d r a w n . The j o u r n a l a c k n o w l e d g e d and t o l e r a t e d t h e v a r i o u s s t y l e s w h i c h now c o e x i s t e d w i t h i n L e s V i n g t ' s r a n k s — I m p r e s s i o n i s m , S y m b o l i s m , N e o - I m p r e s -s i o n i s m and t h e f i r s t a p p e a r a n c e o f t h e D e c o r a t i v e A r t s . A l t h o u g h I m p r e s s i o n i s m was g e n e r a l l y c o n s i d e r e d p a s s e , t h i s f a c t i o n h a d t o be t o l e r a t e d u n d e r t h e c o d e o f l i b -e r t a r i a n i s m . Maus d i s a v o w e d t h e a t t a c k s by t h e p r e s s t h a t L e s V i n g t was p l a g u e d by a s i n g l e , r e s t r i c t i v e " i s m . " . . . l e ' v i n g t i s m e ' c e l a n ' e x i s t e p a s , i l n'y a que d e s v i n g t i s t e s . . . . P a r c e que v i n g t a r t i s t e s s e r e u n i s s e n t , c h a c u n a p p o r t -a n t s e s t e n d a n c e s , e t s e s q u a l i t e s , e t s e s d e f a u t s , c h a c u n c e r t e s , a y a n t l a meme h a i n e du ' d e j a f a i t ' e t ' d e j a v u ' , m a i s n ' a y a n t n u l l e m e n t l a meme p r e o c c u p a t i o n du 'a f a i r e , ' . . .31 S y m b o l i s m and A r t Nouveau were s a n c t i o n e d b e c a u s e t h e y were a l r e a d y a c c e p t e d i n F r a n c e and E n g l a n d . N e o - I m p r e s s i o n -i s m , h o w e v e r , was t r e a t e d as t h e most i m p o r t a n t m a n i f e s t -a t i o n o f modern a r t t o a r r i v e a t B e l g i u m ' s d o o r . D u r i n g t h e 1888 e x h i b i t i o n L ' A r t Moderne p l a c e d e v e n more p r e s s u r e on t h e V i n g t i s t e s t o a d o p t t h e d i v i s i o n i s t s t y l e by p u b l i s h i n g an a r t i c l e on t h e " o l d " and "new" I m p r e s -s i o n i s m . A l t h o u g h , a c c o r d i n g t o t h e w r i t e r , t h e work o f t h e I m p r e s s i o n i s t s h a d on c e been t h e most r e v o l u t i o n a r y and i n n o v a t i v e a r t t o be f o u n d i n B e l g i u m , he f e l t t h a t Ces o e u v r e s a u d a c i e u s e s p e u t - p t r e aux temps l o i n t a i n s de r e n o u v e a u x , s e f i x e n t p r e s q u e t i m i d e s a u j o u r d ' h u i . E l l e s s 1 a v e u l i s s e n t en d e s f o r m e s l o u r d e s e t d e s a g r e a b l e s . 3 2 66 T h i s c r i t i c i s m of the I m p r e s s i o n i s t s t y l e was complemented by s t r e s s i n g t h a t the d i m i n i s h i n g importance of I m p r e s s i o n -ism was the i n e v i t a b l e r e s u l t of the surge of i n i t i a t i v e s b e i n g made by the V i n g t i s t e s i n the a r e a of Neo-Impressionism. A d d r e s s i n g t h e i r comments t o the V i n g t i s t e s and the c r i t i c s , the j o u r n a l ' s e d i t o r s contended t h a t Neo-Impres-s i o n i s m was the newest stage i n the B e l g i a n a r t i s t i c e v o l -u t i o n ; And, i n d e e d , soon a f t e r La Grande J a t t e ' s presence i n B r u s s e l s , t h i s s t y l e "spread l i k e a sudden p a s s i n g e p i d e m i c " among the V i n g t i s t e s . 3 3 The f o l l o w i n g commentary by the s o c i a l i s t j o u r n a l , La S o c i e t e N o u v e l l e i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of the s e n t i m e n t s of tho s e c r i t i c s who viewed the sudden p o p u l a r i t y o f d i v i s i o n i s m d i f f e r e n t l y . These c r i t i c s f e l t t h a t Neo-Impressionism was b e i n g d e l i b e r a t e l y f o i s t e d upon the V i n g t i s t e s by L ' A r t Moderne's e d i t o r s : La d i s c u s s i o n e t 1 1 i n t e r e t " d u S a l o n se p o r t e r o n t s u r l e n e o - i m p r e s s i o n i s m e , a n n o n g a i t 1'organe o f f i c i e l des XX. . . . L ' A r t Moderne nous p r e s e n t e ces neo-i m p r e s s i o n i s t e s comme de recommand-a b l e s o c u l i s t e s . 3 4 Indeed, Maus and P i c a r d made every e f f o r t t o pave the way f o r Les V i n g t ' s a d o p t i o n of d i v i s i o n i s m . In F e b r u a r y , 1888, they announced t h a t W i l l y F i n c h as " l e premier d ' e n t r e l e s B e i g e s , d e c i s i v e m e n t , a s'embrigader parmi l e s neo-impres-s i o n n i s t e s . " 3 5 Soon, more of the V i n g t i s t e s , i n c l u d i n g 67 Anna Boch, Georges Lemmen, Theo van R y s s e l b e r g h e and Jan Toorop, were e x p e r i m e n t i n g w i t h d i v i s i o n i s t t e c h n i q u e s . Those V i n g t i s t e s who chose to r e s i s t the French a e s t h e t i c a v o i d e d c o n f l i c t w i t h L ' A r t Moderne over the i s s u e by t a c i t l y a c c e p t i n g the presence of d i v i s i o n i s m and by remain-i n g committed t o one of the " a c c e p t a b l e " s t y l e s t h a t L ' A r t  Moderne t o l e r a t e d f o r the sake of the group's e c l e c t i c image. One s i g n i f i c a n t e x c e p t i o n , however, was James Ensor. E n s o r 1 s estrangement from Les V i n g t was a l r e a d y i n e v i d e n c e by 1886. In the f a l l of t h a t year an i n c i d e n t had e r u p t e d over an a d u l a t o r y a r t i c l e on Fernand K h n o p f f ' s p a i n t -i n g , L i s t e n i n g t o Schumann, which was p u b l i s h e d i n L ' A r t  M o d e r n e . 3 6 Ensor c l a i m e d the p i c t u r e was a p l a g a r i s m of h i s own p a i n t i n g , e n t i t l e d , R u s s i a n M u s i c . K h n o p f f ' s s u c c e s s , a p p a r e n t l y , r e p r e s e n t e d a t h r e a t t o Ensor's esteemed p o s i t i o n w i t h i n Les V i n g t . Ensor responded t o t h a t t h r e a t by condemn-i n g Maus' e f f u s i v e s u p p o r t of Khnopff and d e c l a r i n g Maus' a r t i s t i c judgemenf'superf i c i a l . 1 , 3 7 H i s a t t a c k on Maus' a b i l i t y t o judge a r t , however, was a t a c t i c a l e r r o r . S i n c e t h i s c r i t i c i s m was tantamount t o h i s w i t h d r a w a l o f unquest-i o n i n g s u p p o r t f o r Maus' l e a d e r s h i p of the group, Ensor would no l o n g e r be a b l e t o depend on Maus as h i s a l l y . Soon a f t e r t h i s , he c r i t i c i z e d Maus a g a i n , t h i s time f o r h i s recommendation t h a t the V i n g t i s t e s i n v i t e W h i s t l e r to j o i n the group. W h i s t l e r had been an i n v i t e a t the 1884 68 and 1886 e x h i b i t i o n s . A c c o r d i n g t o Legrand, the V i n g t i s t e s had been v e r y i m p r e s s e d by h i s work. W h i s t l e r a l s o c a r r i e d the aura of London and P a r i s and had a c q u i r e d a n o t o r i o u s r e p u t a t i o n f o r h i s p u b l i c q u a r r e l s w i t h Ruskin.38 Ensor, however, was s t r o n g l y opposed t o a d m i t t i n g him t o Les V i n g t . He wrote t o Maus t h a t , admettre W h i s t l e r aux XX c ' e s t marcher v e r s l a mort . . . . Pourquoi admettre des e t r a n g e r s ? N'y a - t - i l p l u s de jeunes en Belgique?". Sommes nous l e s d e r n i e r s jeunes? . . . [ W h i s t l e r ' s ] p e i n t u r e s s e n t d e j a l e m o i s i e t l e rertferme, i l e s t connu e t reconnu, q u e l a r t e t p r i n c i p e nouveaux p e u t - i l a p p o r t e r chez nous? . . . S i vous c r o y e z au bon e f f e t pour l e p u b l i c , n ' o u b l i e z pas que l a r e p u t a t i o n de W h i s t l e r e s t , comme l a n p t r e , d e t e s t a b l e dans 1 ' e p i c e r i e . 3 9 His c r i t i c i s m s s t r u c k a blow at the h e a r t of Maus' management of the group. Ensor knew t h a t Maus condoned W h i s t l e r ' s membership because of h i s e s t a b l i s h e d r e p u t a t i o n abroad and because Maus b e l i e v e d h i s presence would b e n e f i t the e x h i -b i t i o n s . Maus thought he was b e i n g p r a g m a t i c . He was w i l l i n g t o compromise the group's p r i n c i p l e s i n o r d e r t o s u s t a i n the p u b l i c ' s i n t e r e s t i n t h e i r e x h i b i t i o n s . Ensor, on the o t h e r hand, wanted Les V i n g t t o m a i n t a i n a s t r i c t l y B e l g i a n i d e n t i t y and t o s t a n d f i r m i n i t s commitment t o r a d i c a l i s m . As f a r as Ensor was con c e r n e d , a d m i t t i n g W h i s t l e r would have been a d i r e c t v i o l a t i o n of the s t a n d a r d s t h a t had been s e t f o r the group. Ensor was w e l l aware t h a t a s u b s t a n t i a l number of h i s c o l l e a g u e s were seduced by t h i s i l l u s t r i o u s p e r s o n a l i t y , and 69 t h e r e f o r e , he campaigned t o b l o c k W h i s t l e r ' s membership. But a l t h o u g h Ensor was s u c c e s s f u l i n t h i s endeavour, many of h i s former adherents s u b s e q u e n t l y withdrew t h e i r a l l e g -i a n c e t o him i n f a v o u r of the American e x p a t r i a t e . 4 0 Ensor a l i e n a t e d h i m s e l f f u r t h e r from the r e s t of the V i n g t i s t e s by s u b m i t t i n g works f o r the 1887 e x h i b i t i o n t h a t were c o n s i d e r e d i r r e v e r e n t and c o n t r o v e r s i a l . He had begun e x p e r i m e n t i n g , two y e a r s e a r l i e r , w i t h images i n which he s y n t h e s i z e d t r a d i t i o n a l and modern themes and m o t i f s . These images, w i t h t h e i r s t r o n g F l e m i s h r o o t s and t h e i r o v e r l a y of fragments of modern l i f e , were s a t i r i c a l , p r o v o c a t i v e and, sometimes, o f f e n s i v e . Most i m p o r t a n t l y , however, they a t t r a c t e d a g r e a t d e a l of n e g a t i v e p u b l i c i t y a t Les V i n g t ' s e x h i b i t i o n . The s t r a i n e d r e l a t i o n s h i p t h a t d e v e l o p e d between Ensor and Les V i n g t was i n t e n s i f i e d by Maus and P i c a r d ' s f o r c e -f u l campaign f o r the group's a d o p t i o n of d i v i s i o n i s m , e s -p e c i a l l y s i n c e the p r e f e r e n c e f o r t h i s a r t s t y l e s y m b o l i z e d a b i a s towards French c u l t u r e . 4 1 Even though the e d i t o r s had promoted the a r t i s t i c s t y l e p r i n c i p a l l y i n the name of m o d e r n i t y and a r t i s t i c freedom, Les V i n g t ' s c a p i t u -l a t i o n t o d i v i s i o n i s m s i g n i f i e d an a c q u i e s e n c e t o the t a s t e s of the B r u s s e l s b o u r g e o i s i e which were a r d e n t l y F r a n c o p h i l e . E n sor's new a r t , i n c o n t r a s t , c e l e b r a t e d Belgium's F l e m i s h h e r i t a g e and t h e r e f o r e brought ev e r y 70 j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r Les V i n g t ' s a d o p t i o n of French d i v i s -i o n i s m i n t o q u e s t i o n . As he had shown d u r i n g the W h i s t l e r i n c i d e n t , he wanted Les V i n g t t o r e s i s t a l l f o r e i g n i n f l u -ence and m a i n t a i n a s t r o n g B e l g i a n i d e n t i t y . H e r e i n l a y the s o u r c e of the s e r i o u s c o n f l i c t s t h a t arose between Ensor and h i s group. However, an assessment of how and why E n sor's F l e m i s h n e s s and L ' A r t Moderne's F r a n c o p h i l i s m were i n c o m p a t i b l e r e q u i r e s f i r s t a c l o s e r l o o k a t what Ensor's a e s t h e t i c r e p r e s e n t e d . One of E nsor's e a r l y works t h a t b e s t e p i t o m i z e s h i s F l e m i s h s e n s i b i l i t y was a drawing e n t i t l e d The E n t r y of  C h r i s t i n t o J e r u s a l e m , 1885 ( f i g u r e 2 ) . Ensor s u b m i t t e d i t f o r the 1887 e x h i b i t i o n as p a r t of a s e r i e s e n t i t l e d The A u r e o l e s of C h r i s t or The S e n s i b i l i t i e s of L i g h t , and l i s t e d i t i n the c a t a l o g u e under the c a t e g o r y , " V i s i o n s . " 4 2 The s u b j e c t of C h r i s t ' s " E n t r y " was a common one f o r F l e m i s h a r t i s t s , but Ensor has r a d i c a l l y a l t e r e d the theme by i n f u s i n g i t w i t h r e f e r e n c e s t o modern Belgium. Ensor p r e s e n t s the s p e c t a t o r w i t h a t e l e s c o p i c view of "The E n t r y " as seen from above and i n f r o n t of a c i t y s t r e e t . T a l l b u i l d i n g s f l a n k both s i d e s of the b o u l e v a r d , w h i l e f l a g s , banners and pennants c a r r y i n g s l o g a n s form a can-opy above the f i g u r e of C h r i s t and the dense p r o c e s s i o n of p e o p l e t h a t accompanies him. In the lower r i g h t - h a n d c o r n e r a r a i s e d p l a t f o r m p r o t r u d e s i n t o the s w i r l i n g s t r e e t 71 mob. Nearby, a tambour-major i n a t a l l , plumed hat l i f t s h i s baton t o summon f o r t h a marching band. C h r i s t , i n the m i d s t of t h i s c o n f u s i o n , l i f t s h i s hand i n b e n e d i c t i o n . Beyond him and c o n t i n u i n g deep i n t o the c e n t r e f o r e g r o u n d , a s e e m i n g l y e n d l e s s p r o c e s s i o n of banners, m u s i c i a n s and s u p p o r t e r s i s compressed i n t o the l o n g , narrow s t r e e t . I t s s u b j e c t m a t t e r , i t s q u a l i t i e s of the t r a d i t i o n a l B e l g i a n s t r e e t f e s t i v a l o r , kermesse, are i n s i s t e n t remind-e r s of the drawing's F l e m i s h r o o t s . But Ensor has t r a n s -formed these elements i n t o a u nique, p e r s o n a l i z e d a e s t h e t i c by combining them w i t h v a r i o u s , d i s p a r a t e symbols from con-temporary Belgium. In the c e n t r e f o r e g r o u n d , f o r i n s t a n c e , he has p a s t e d i n a s k e t c h e d p o r t r a i t of E m i l e L i t t r e , a well-known a n t i - r e l i g i o u s p h i l o s o p h e r and contemporary of E n s o r ' s . 4 3 T h i s f i g u r e c a r r i e s a s c e p t r e , symbol of r e l i g i o u s a u t h o r i t y , ' a n d heads the p r o c e s s i o n . H i s p r e -sence i n t h i s p i c t o r i a l c o n t e x t i s t h e r e f o r e c o n t r a d i c t -ory and ambiguous. These c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are i n t e n s i f i e d by the i n c l u s i o n of v a r i o u s p o p u l a r phrases and p o l i t i c a l s l o g a n s . S o c i a l i s t banners p r o c l a i m i n g "Liberate, E g a l i t e , F r a t e r n i t e " and " V i v e l a S o c i a l e " are j u x t a p o s e d w i t h " S a l u t J e s u s , R o i des J u i f s " and "Samarie." Other s l o g a n s i n c l u d e " Les I m p r e s s i o n i s t e s Beige , " "A^  Bas l a C a l o t t e , " "Amestie," "Mouvement Flamand, h i p , h i p , h i p , h u r r a h , " "Les XX," and a s i g n a d v e r t i s i n g "Colmans Mustard." These 72 are i n t e r m i n g l e d w i t h r e f e r e n c e s t o t r a d i t i o n a l a s p e c t s of the d r a w i n g - - " N a z a r e t h " and " C h a r c u t i e r s de J e r u s a l e m . "44 What may have o t h e r w i s e been viewed s i m p l y as p u e r i l e , c o n f u s i n g o r , even, blasphemous, imagery, was g i v e n a pos-i t i v e r e c e p t i o n by a c e r t a i n number of the show's r e v i e w -e r s . The most s i g n i f i c a n t q u a l i t y of t h i s imagery, a c c o r d -i n g t o one f a c t i o n of Ensor's s y m p a t h i z e r s , was i t s Flem-i s h n e s s . A c h i l l e s Chainaye, a former V i n g t i s t e who had t u r n e d t o w r i t i n g f u l l - t i m e , r e f e r r e d to Ensor d u r i n g the 1887 e x h i b i t i o n as " l e poteau i n d i c a t e u r de l a p e i n t u r e flamande regeneree."45 Ensor's f r i e n d and f e l l o w -V i n g t i s t e , Theo Hannon, echoed t h i s s e n t i m e n t when he wrote t h a t Ensor and h i s f r i e n d V ogels "tendent a con-s e r v e r l a t r a d i t i o n du c o l o r i s flamand e t de touch g r a s s e et b e l l e . " 4 6 Eugene Demolder, a s o c i a l i s t w r i t e r and ardent s u p p o r t e r of Ensor wrote a monograph i n 1892 on Ensor's work i n which he, perhaps, b e s t sums up the impact r e l a t e d to t h i s p a r t i c u l a r a e s t h e t i c as i t was r e v e a l e d i n The E n t r y  of C h r i s t i n t o J e r u s a l e m . Ensor's F l e m i s h n e s s , d e c h a i n a i t devant l e p u b l i c des bandes de d i a b l e s p e t a n t , des personnages, d'un mode baroque, d'une s o r t e de c a r n a v a l des e n f e r s . . . . Des p a n t i n s i s s u s des r e v e s de Goya ou de Bosch j a i l l i s s a i e n t t u r b u l e n t s , deformes comme en des magiques d'on ne s a i t q u e l l e a f f r e u s e kermesse.47 While t h e s e w r i t e r s commended Ensor f o r the F l e m i s h c h a r a c t e r of h i s work embodied i n i t s c o a r s e n e s s of e x e c u t i o n , 73 f a n t a s t i c imagery and r e f e r e n c e s t o the kermesse, o t h e r s v a l u e d The E n t r y f o r i t s contemporary s i g n i f i c a n c e - - i t s e x p r e s s i o n of modern l i f e , the symbolism of i t s c h a o t i c v i s i o n and the i n t e n s i t y of i t s impact on the v i e w e r . J u l e s D e s t r e e was one of those who acknowledged Ensor f o r the con-temporary a s p e c t s of h i s Flemishness:48 Dans ses V i s i o n s , ces d e s s i n s e x t r a o r d i n a i r e s . ... i l y a t o u t e une n o u v e l l e v o i e o u v e r t e pour l u i . L ' E ntree a J e r u s a l e m , q u i a s i f o r t etonne, e s t a peu de chose p r e s , superbe; c ' e s t comme un c a r n a v a l g i g a n t e s q u e , s y m b o l i s a n t l a Rue Moderne.49 The c r i t i c A. J . Wauters w r i t i n g i n the l i b e r a l paper, La  G a z e t t e , was even more i n c i s i v e i n h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the modern a s p e c t s of Ensor's imagery. He noted t h a t i n the V i s i o n s , Ensor d e p i c t e d heads "deformees par l e t r a v a i l c o r p o r e l , c o n v u l s i o n n e e s par l a f a t i g u e de l a marche, a l t e r -ees par l a racune, l a vengence e t l e s a p p e t i t s . . . . " Ensor, he d e c l a r e d , s t o o d f o r a l l p e o p l e " q u i v e u l e n t a m e l i o r e r , r e f o r m e r , r e n v e r s e r , b o u l e v e r s e r , avec ses drapeaux, des e t e n d a r d s , des emblemes, des symboles des c a r t e l s . . . ." 5 0 Wauters s u g g e s t s t h a t Ensor's impact l a y p r i m a r i l y w i t h h i s a b i l i t y t o a c t as a p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l commen-t a t o r . But the s t r e n g t h and c r e d i b i l i t y of t h i s v i s u a l language was a l s o dependent upon i t s bonds w i t h E n sor's F l e m i s h p a s t . As has been suggested e a r l i e r , many B e l g i a n i n t e l l e c t u a l s of t h i s p e r i o d were concerned w i t h a 74 r e n a i s s a n c e o f B e l g i a n a r t — o n e t h a t was s e p a r a t e and y e t r i v a l l e d t h a t of t h e i r French c o u n t e r p a r t s - D u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d , the F l e m i s h movement had begun to p l a y a s i g n i f i -c a n t r o l e i n Belgium's a r t i s t i c r e v i v a l and was r e l a t e d t o the w i d e s p r e a d Romantic movement of the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y which g l o r i f i e d t he c u l t u r e and language of the common people.51 For t h e s e B e l g i a n w r i t e r s , e s p e c i a l l y t h o s e i n -v o l v e d w i t h the s o c i a l i s t movement, Ensor's F l e m i s h n e s s s y m b o l i c a l l y combined the c u l t u r e and h i s t o r y of the c o u n t r y ' s w o r k i n g c l a s s w i t h i t s contemporary s t r u g g l e s . . The w r i t i n g s of t h e s o c i a l i s t E m i l e Verhaeren,, f o r • example, share some of the same q u a l i t i e s of Ensor's imagery. H i s poems of the 1880's emphasize the d i s m a l e f f e c t s of Belgium's i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n and i t s moral t o l l on the p e a s a n t s . In h i s poem "Les V i l l e s T e n t a c u l a i r e s , " the phenomenon of modernity becomes a complex symptom which i n h i s s y n t h e t i c type of v i s i o n a m p l i f i e s i n t o a s p e c t a c u l a r movement; the d r i f t of p o p u l a t i o n from the f i e l d s i n obed-i e n c e t o the s u c t i o n of the t e n t a c l e d towns, and the reward of the c a p t i v e s w i t h a u t o m a t i c employ-ments and d e g r a d i n g s t i m u l a t i o n s . 5 2 "Above a l l , " as Dore Ashton w r i t e s , the q u a l i t i e s of Verhaeren's F l e m i s h n e s s were melan c h o l y , d a r k n e s s , d i r e c t -ness and c o a r s e n e s s . 5 3 L i k e Verhaeren's poems, Ensor's v i s u a l images r e p r e s -ented a c r i t i c a l a e s t h e t i c . But i f Ensor the V i n g t i s t e 75 s t o o d f o r r e f o r m , he s t o o d a l o n e ; and i f h i s a r t was meant to d i s r u p t and overthrow, t h i s e f f o r t was s y m b o l i c -a l l y d i r e c t e d a t the a c t i v i t i e s of h i s own vanguard. F i r s t of a l l , E nsor's works were dominated by r e f e r e n c e s t o B e l -gium's s o c i a l i s s u e s , and were, t h e r e f o r e , i n c o n f l i c t w i t h Les V i n g t ' s d e p o l i t i c i z e d image. Se c o n d l y , t h e s e works, b l a t a n t l y a n t i - F r e n c h and a n t i - d i v i s i o n i s t , opposed the group's a d o p t i o n of an avant-garde i d e n t i t y t h a t was form-u l a t e d t o p l e a s e an audience whose t a s t e s had always been d i c t a t e d by French f a s h i o n . Les V i n g t f e l t j u s t i f i e d i n i t s d i s a p p r o v a l of Ensor's images, c o n s i d e r i n g the k i n d of v i r u l e n t a t t a c k s t h a t were d i r e c t e d a t h i s s u b m i s s i o n f o r 1887. The c r i t i c o f Le Mon-i t e u r des A r t s wrote t h a t the A u r e o l e s were " e l u c u b r a t i o n s d'un c e r v e a u malade."54 Max S u l z b e r g e r c r i t i c i z e d the same a s p e c t s of E n sor's work t h a t o t h e r s had p r a i s e d . He wrote t h a t Ensor's maniere de p e i n d r e l u i i n t e r d i s a n t de p r o g r e s s e r dans l e c o t e m e t i e r de son a r t . . . M. Ensor e s t t e l l e m e n t e m b r o u i l l a s s e dans sa p e i n t u r e . . . e t t e l l e m e n t vague et i n d e c h i f f -r a b l e dans ses d e s s i n s i n t i t u l e s V i s i o n s . . . . A n a l y s e r ces oeuvres ce s e r a i t t e n t e r 1'impos-s i b l e . Le chaos ne se d e c r i t pas.55 The c r i t i c f o r La F e d e r a t i o n A r t i s t i q u e a l s o d i r e c t e d h i s c r i t i c i s m s at the F l e m i s h q u a l i t i e s of Ensor's drawings;-Dans ses d e s s i n s i n c o h e r e n t s , v i s i o n s e n f a n t i n e s , q u i ne peuvent r e v a l i s e r n i 76 avec l e s r j l v e s macabres d ' O d i l o n Redon, n i avec l e s f a n t a s t i q u e s c r o q u i s de Toorop, dans ses d r p l e r i e s p i c t u r a l e s , en d e p i t d 1une f u r i e u s e debauche de c o u l e u r s , se l i t nettement 1 1 i m p u i s s a n c e . . . . L 1 h e u r e de l a v i c t o i r e f a c t i c e e s t passee. . . .56 A l t h o u g h S e u r a t ' s La Grande J a t t e had met w i t h as much c r i t i c i s m as Ensor's e n t r i e s , the r e a s o n s f o r such censure were v e r y d i f f e r e n t i n each c a s e . I t was the u g l i n e s s and i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s w i t h i n Ensor's images and h i s unorthodox approach t o h i s s u b j e c t s t h a t o f f e n d e d so many r e v i e w e r s . The E n t r y of C h r i s t i n t o J e r u s a l e m broke a l l the r u l e s of a c c e p t a b i l i t y . Not o n l y d i d he make a c a r i c a t u r e of an i m p o r t a n t r e l i g i o u s theme b y i n f u s i n g the image w i t h humour and g r o t e s q u e r i e s , but he a l s o a l i g n e d i t w i t h s o c i a l a c t i v -i t i e s t h a t were p o t e n t i a l l y dangerous and t h r e a t e n i n g . C h r i s t no l o n g e r i n h a b i t e d the d i s t a n t p a s t , but r a t h e r had been t r a n s p o r t e d i n t o a modern w o r l d f i l l e d w i t h c a r i c a t u r e s of r e a l p e o p l e , s o c i a l d i s s e n t and b i z a r r e a c t i v i t i e s . L ' A r t Moderne, s i g n i f i c a n t l y , made no mention of Ensor's work i n t h e i r r e v i e w of the 1887 s a l o n . T h e i r s i l -ence s u g g e s t s a t a c i t d i s a p p r o v a l which was t o become more o b v i o u s as time passed. His I m p r e s s i o n i s t works were now c o n s i d e r e d passe and h i s new, p r o v o c a t i v e images were a s e r i o u s t h r e a t t o the d e l i c a t e b a l a n c e the j o u r n a l had a r r i v e d a t i n the r e f o r m u l a t i o n of a c o h e s i v e , m a r k e t a b l e i d e n t i t y f o r Les V i n g t . 77 Georges Verdavainne n o t i c e d t h a t the V i n g t i s t e s were l e s s enamoured t h a t year by h i s " t h e o r i e E n s o r -i e n n e . " C e t t e annee, nos r e n o v a t e u r s nes m a l i n s rival's s c e p t i q u e s l a i s s e n t 1 1 i n f o r t u n e James s e u l avec ses i l l u s i o n s . 5 7 Moreover, Ensor's c o a r s e F l e m i s h imagery c l a s h e d men-a c i n g l y w i t h the o r d e r e d beauty found i n the images of the B e l g i a n N e o - I m p r e s s i o n i s t s . Where the d i v i s i o n i s t a e s t h e t i c o f f e r e d the V i n g t i s t e s a s a f e harbour removed from the stormy waters of t h e i r contemporary m i l i e u , E nsor's imagery t h r e a t e n e d t o sweep them i n t o the c e n t r e of the t u r b u l e n c e . Where d i v i s i o n i s m s i g n i f i e d the poss-i b i l i t y of a l o g i c a l , c o n t r o l l a b l e and b e a u t i f u l w o r l d , Ensor's v i s i o n s i g n i f i e d the estrangement of the i n d i v i d u a l f a c e d w i t h the modern w o r l d . L ' A r t Moderne, t h e r e f o r e , viewed Ensor's e s p o u s a l of t h i s new p e r s o n a l a e s t h e t i c as an embarrassment and a t h r e a t . Ensor, so f a r as they were concerned, had d e f i a n t l y t u r n e d h i s back on Neo-I m p r e s s i o n i s m and i t s p r o - F r e n c h s e n t i m e n t and i n t e r n a t -i o n a l s e n s i b i l i t y t h a t the s t y l e t y p i f i e d . The crudeness of h i s forms, h i s s a t i r i c a l approach t o h i s s u b j e c t s and h i s use of m o t i f s which r e f e r r e d t o s o c i a l i s s u e s a l l s e r v e d t o widen the gap between him and h i s c o l l e a g u e s . Ensor p r e p a r e d h i s l i s t of s u b m i s s i o n s f o r the 1888 show w i t h a l l the i n t e n t i o n s of p u r s u i n g h i s a n t i - d i v i s i o n -78 i s t campaign. But Maus and P i c a r d , who were now p r e p a r e d f o r h i s o p p o s i t i o n , made every attempt to d i m i n i s h h i s impact on the e x h i b i t i o n . The c o n f l i c t c o n t i n u e d t h a t year over a work e n t i t l e d The Temptation of S t . Anthony, 1887 ( f i g u r e 3 ) . The work was c o n s i d e r e d so o f f e n s i v e by the M i n i s t r y of A r t s t h a t i t demanded Maus have the work removed from the e x h i b i t i o n . 5 8 The work i n q u e s t i o n i s a l a r g e drawing t h a t i s based on some of the t r a d i t i o n a l i c o n o g r a p h y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the s a i n t . Ensor has d i v i d e d the drawing i n t o h o r i z o n t a l p l a n e s . At the t o p , the head of C h r i s t , surrounded by a r a d i a t i n g nimbus, hovers over the scene below. Beneath C h r i s t , a nude, crowned woman sta n d s i n a n i c h e - l i k e form. J u l i u s Kaplan has suggested t h a t she i s the Diana of Ephesus i n F l a u b e r t ' s The Temptation of S t . Anthony.59 Beneath h e r, S t . Anthony i s s e a t e d , h i s hands t o g e t h e r i n p r a y e r . To the r i g h t and l e f t of the s e f i g u r e s , the space i s f i l l e d w i t h superimposed l a y e r s of macabre, f a n t a s t i c f i g u r e s , s u g g e s t i n g the h o r r o r v a c u i of a Romanesque tympanum. Here a g a i n , the dominant q u a l i t i e s of the work are r e l a t e d t o Ensor's F l e m i s h s e n s i b i l i t y and are not o n l y i c o n o c l a s t i c , but a n t i - F r e n c h . Maus was a f r a i d t h a t Ensor's s c a n d a l o u s work would f i n a l l y give, the government the r e a s o n i t needed t o p r o h i b i t Les V i n g t ' s use of the 79 P a l a i s des Beaux-Arts f o r i t s e x h i b i t i o n s . Every year Maus had met w i t h r e s i s t e n c e t o Les V i n g t ' s r e q u e s t f o r these e x h i b i t i o n rooms. I t was o n l y because he had f r i e n d s i n the h i g h e r l e v e l s of the M i n i s t r y t h a t he was f i n a l l y a b l e t o g a i n p e r m i s s i o n f o r the use of the e x h i b i t i o n space every y e a r . I t was h i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y as s e c r e t a r y t o m a i n t a i n t h i s p r i v i l e g e f o r the V i n g t i s t e s . F u r t h e r -more, i t was an i m p o r t a n t symbol of the group's c r e d i b i l -i t y w i t h i t s v i e w i n g p u b l i c t h a t i t s shows be h e l d i n a p r e s t i g i o u s l o c a t i o n . When Maus made the d e c i s i o n , under p r e s s u r e from the M i n i s t r y of A r t s , t o b a r Ensor's work from the s a l o n , he f o r f e i t e d Les V i n g t ' s commitment to defend the a r t i s t i c l i c e n s e of each of i t s members. In exchange, he chose to accept the a r t i s t i c s t a n d a r d s s e t by the government. How-ever p r a g m a t i c he made t h a t c h o i c e appear t o be, i t caused a f u r o r i n the p r e s s and opened up Les V i n g t ' s l i n e of defence to s e r i o u s c r i t i c a l a s s a u l t s . S e v e r a l papers c r e a t e d a major i s s u e out of the i n c i d e n t even b e f o r e the show opened. Theo Hannon, w r i t i n g i n L_a Chron i q u e, i n d i c t e d Les V i n g t , and Maus i n p a r t i c u l a r , f o r t h i s a c t i o n a g a i n s t Ensor. A c c u s i n g l y , he r e f e r r e d t o the group's members as . . . vous q u i y a v a i t i n t r o d u i t a i n s i dans v o t r e s o i - d i s a n t i n t r a n s i g e a n t e e t r e v o l u t i o n -n a i r e a s s o c i a t i o n des d e s t e s t a b l e s errements des j u r y s o f f i c i e l s t a n t b a f o u e s l ^ O 80 Maus l a t e r defended h i s d e c i s i o n to bar some :of Ensor's works. Les r i r e s e c l a t a i e n t e t p a r f o i s l e s b a g a r r e s . I m p o s s i b l e d'exposer p a r e i l l e s p e i n t u r e s . Le parquet f e r a i t une d e s c e n t e . Le gouvernement f e r m e r a i t 1 ' e x p o s i t i o n . 6 1 T h i s i n c i d e n t over the banning of Ensor's S t . Anthony was o n l y the b e g i n n i n g of the d i f f i c u l t i e s the a r t i s t f a c e d d u r i n g the 1888 e x h i b i t i o n . A c c o r d i n g t o h i s c o r r e s p o n d - • ence w i t h Maus b e f o r e the opening of the e x h i b i t i o n , Ensor was too i l l t o t r a v e l t o B r u s s e l s i n time t o have h i s works hung b e f o r e the show opened and, t h e r e f o r e , he r e q u e s t e d t h a t he be a l l o w e d t o send h i s e n t r i e s i n at a l a t e r d a t e . 6 2 In h i s l e t t e r he reminded Maus t h a t Redon and M a r i s on o t h e r o c c a s i o n s had been a l l o w e d t o e x h i b i t l a t e . a n d , a f t e r a l l , he was a f o u n d i n g member! He wrote: V e u i l l e z m'apprendre s i vous chargez du d e p l a c e -ment des oeuvres de mon v o i s i n M. Toulouse-L a u t r e c e t du placement des m i e n n e s . 6 3 A p p a r e n t l y , Maus d e n i e d him t h i s r e q u e s t , and as a r e s u l t , none of Ensor's p a i n t i n g s were viewed t h a t year.64 T h i s s i t u a t i o n p r o v i d e d f u e l f o r the a t t a c k s b e i n g made a g a i n s t Maus' tr e a t m e n t of Ensor. La Chronique s t a t e d t h a t " l e brave i m p r e s s i o n i s t e James Ensor l u i -meme a f a i l l i v o i r t o u t son e n v o i r e f u s e en b l o c . . . ."65 A l t h o u g h Ensor was f i n a l l y p e r m i t t e d t o hang a few of h i s drawings and e t c h i n g s , i n c l u d i n g The C a t h e d r a l , Maus s t i l l r e f u s e d t o accept The Temptation of S t . Anthony.66 81 L ' A r t Moderne's r e v i e w of Ensor's work t h a t year was c o o l and non-commital. Although i t f e l t t h a t The C a t h e d r a l was . . . t r e s f i n e m e n t e t m e r v e i l l e u s e m e n t t r a i t e e . . . . Les d e s s i n s s e d u i s e n t moins, quant aux p e i n t u r e s numerotees au c a t a l o g u e , e l l e s ne se r e n c o n t r e n t p o i n t au Salon.6V One of t h e s e drawings t h a t , a p p a r e n t l y , was " l e s s s e d u c t i v e " r e c e i v e d no mention a t a l l . E n t i t l e d The S t r i k e , 1887, ( f i g u r e 4 ) , i t was one of Ensor's few works t h a t documented an a c t u a l contemporary event. In August of 1887 an i n c i d -ent took p l a c e i n Ostend i n v o l v i n g a c l a s h between B e l g i a n and E n g l i s h f i s h e r m e n over f i s h i n g r i g h t s . A p p a r e n t l y , the B e l g i a n s had found the E n g l i s h b o a t s t r e s p a s s i n g i n t h e i r own w a t e r s . D u r i n g the c o n f r o n t a t i o n the O s t e n d a i s c u t the n e t s of the E n g l i s h b o a t s and threw t h e i r f i s h o v e r b o a r d . Ostend, s u b s e q u e n t l y , became the scene of a b l o o d y c o n f r o n -t a t i o n between the O s t e n d a i s f i s h e r m e n and the armed m i l i t i a who were s e n t t h e r e t o r e s t o r e o r d e r . D u r i n g the b a t t l e , two f i s h e r m e n were k i l l e d . K i n g L e o p o l d I I , who was s t a y -i n g at h i s v i l l a near Ostend, was f o r c e d to l e a v e i n o r d e r t o a v o i d the c o n f l i c t . The newspapers t r i e d t o c o v e r up the i n c i d e n t because of the deaths of the f i s h e r m e n and a l s o because the i n c i d e n t had taken p l a c e under the Anar-c h i s t s ' " b l a c k f l a g " . 6 8 The c o n s e r v a t i v e Globe I l l u s t r e i g n o r e d the event a l t o g e t h e r and i n s t e a d h i g h l i g h t e d L e o p o l d and h i s w i f e ' s summer v a c a t i o n . In c o n t r a s t , the 82 a n a r c h i s t / s o c i a l i s t m e d i a r e p r o d u c e d p i c t u r e s o f t h e d e a d f i s h e r m e n and l a t e r , a s o c i a l i s t t r a c t was d i s t r i b u t e d u r g -i n g t h e f i s h e r m e n t o u n i t e . 6 9 I n The S t r i k e t h e a c t u a l e v e n t o c c u p i e s o n l y t h e l o w e r h a l f o f t h e c o m p o s i t i o n . The s c e n e a t t h e O s t e n d d o c k s i s e n c l o s e d on e i t h e r s i d e by i n n s and o t h e r b u i l d i n g s . The c o n f r o n t a t i o n i s d e p i c t e d i n c a r i c a t u r e - - f i s h hang e v e r y -w h e r e , e v e n f r o m t h e l o n g l a n c e s o f t h e g e n d a r m e s . P e o p l e on b a l c o n i e s d e f e c a t e and v o m i t o n t o t h e p u p p e t - l i k e f i g -u r e s i n v o l v e d i n t h e b a t t l e b e l o w them. I n t h e u p p e r zone t h e a i r i s i n h a b i t e d by g r o t e s q u e f i g u r e s who p a r t i c i p a t e i n o r a p p e a r t o e n c o u r a g e t h e b a t t l e . A d d i n g t o t h e s e n s e o f s t r i f e and c o n f u s i o n , s w i r l i n g b a n n e r s and f l a g s f i l l t h e a i r and m i n g l e w i t h E n s o r ' s i m a g i n a r y c r e a t u r e s . E n s o r ' s p r o v o c a t i v e s o c i a l commentary was d e r i v e d f r o m a m e r g i n g o f F l e m i s h and c o n t e m p o r a r y m o t i f s t h a t a r t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i e d a p o w e r f u l r e p u d i a t i o n o f L e s V i n g t ' s c a p i t u l a t i o n t o F r a n c e and abandonment o f i t s s o c i a l i d e a l s . L ' A r t M o derne's s i l e n c e i n r e g a r d t o t h e p i c t u r e was c a l -c u l a t e d t o a v o i d f u r t h e r c o n f l i c t w i t h t h e p r e s s . To show f a v o u r t o w a r d s t h e d r a w i n g w o u l d h a v e b e e n i n t e r p r e t e d as L e s V i n g t ' s r e c o g n i t i o n o f t h e a n a r c h i s t / s o c i a l i s t e f f o r t s t h a t f u e l e d a r e a c t i o n t o t h e O s t e n d i n c i d e n t . To condemn i t w o u l d have o p e n e d them up t o t h e c r i t i c i s m t h a t t h e j o u r n a l and t h e a r t i s t s ' g r o u p were b e c o m i n g " a c a d e m i c " 83 i n t h e i r a t t i t u d e s . Maus and P i c a r d were de t e r m i n e d t o uph o l d a p o l i t i c -a l l y n e u t r a l i d e n t i t y f o r the group. T h i s e f f o r t , however, had a l r e a d y been c h a l l e n g e d by a comment made i n r e g a r d t o the c a t a l o g u e f o r the 1888 e x h i b i t i o n by the c o n s e r v a t i v e paper, L ' E t o i l e B e i g e : l e c a t a l o g u e e s t rouge, d 1 u n rouge sang, d 1 u n rouge de combat e t de carnage. I I e s t emblem-a t i q u e de l a fagon dont on t r a i t e r a l e s c r i t i q u e s q u i se p e r m e t e r a i e n t de ne pas t o u t a d o r e r . . . . 7 u At the same t i m e , Le C o u r i e r Beige denounced the government f o r s a n c t i o n i n g the group's a c t i v i t i e s by g i v i n g e x h i b i t i o n space t o t h i s group of j o k e r s "who made fun of the p u b l i c , of a r t , of good t a s t e and m o r a l i t y . " 7 ! In response t o thes e a t t a c k s L ' A r t Moderne p u b l i s h e d a l o n g e d i t o r i a l which was meant t o m i t i g a t e t h e s e c r i t i - ' c i s m s . There were t h r e e p o i n t s the a r t i c l e d e a l t w i t h : f i r s t , a c l a r i f i c a t i o n of Les V i n g t ' s r o l e as an av a n t -garde o r g a n i z a t i o n and i t s r e l a t i o n t o the l a r g e r s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e ; s e c o n d l y , a j u s t i f i c a t i o n of i t s p o s i t i o n r e g a r d i n g E n sor's d r a w i n g , The Temptation of S t . Anthony; t h i r d l y , a defenc e o f Les V i n g t ' s s e c r e t a r y i n r e g a r d t o the a c c u s a t i o n made by the c r i t i c . L u c i e n Solvay,- t h a t Maus' c h o i c e o f i n v i t e s was made o n l y on the b a s i s of a d e s i r e t o shock Les V i n g t ' s a u d i e n c e . The a r t i c l e began w i t h a r e i t e r a t i o n of the c o n c e p t s upon which the group was founded. Most of the p o l i t i c a l 84 v o c a b u l a r y used i n p r e v i o u s y e a r s had d i s a p p e a r e d . The o r g a n i z a t i o n of Les V i n g t was now d e f i n e d i n these terms: R i e n d ' o f f i c i e l . Une a s s o c i a t i o n de camarades, aimant chacun l ' a r t a sa maniere, l e v o u l a n t i m p r e s s i o n i s t e , r e a l i s t e , s y m b o l i s t e , l u m i n i s t e , qu'importe? mais u n i s dans l e commuh d e d a i n du b a n a l , du t r i v i a l , du d e j a d i t , e t dans 1'horreur de c e t t e 1honnete p e r f e c t i o n mediocre'. . .72 These c o l l e c t i v e g o a l s , the e d i t o r s added, were a c c o m p l i s h e d w i t h o u t a d m i n i s t r a t i v e c o n t r o l s , w i t h o u t s t a t u t e s , and w i t h -out " s i e g e s o c i a l . " 7 3 Maus p r e f a c e d h i s d i s c u s s i o n of the c e n s o r s h i p of Ensor's drawing w i t h a reminder of the s c a n d a l c r e a t e d by the e x h i b i t i o n of F e l i c i e n Rops' c o n t r o v e r s i a l work, P o r n -o c r a t e s - Maus p o i n t e d out t h a t . . deux ans a p r e s , un a r t i s t e [ E n s o r ] v o u l u t exposer un d e s s i n d 1 u n c a r a c t e r e beaucoup p l u s l i b r e que 1 ' a q u a r e l l e en q u e s t i o n , e t que ne g a r a n t i s -s a i t pas, comme c e l l e - c i , une t r e s haute concep-t i o n d ' a r t . Avec l e u r a d r e s s e accoutumee, nos p a l a d a i n s de l a morale p u b l i q u e annoncerent com-plaisamment a 1'avance un s c a n d a l e e t f i r e n t s i b i e n que l e d e s s i n f u t r e f u s e , a l a demande, p a r a i t - i l , du m i n i s t r e des beaux- a r t s . 7 4 In making t h i s comment, Maus t r i e d t o deny r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the group's a c t of c e n s o r s h i p and, at the same t i m e , suggested t h a t Les V i n g t was ,the v i c t i m of the whims of the M i n i s t e r of A r t s . The e d i t o r s took no r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the o m i s s i o n of Ensor's work and d e c l a r e d t h a t they were b e i n g u n j u s t l y a t t a c k e d by Les V i n g t ' s former sup-p o r t e r s who were now c r y i n g . . . 1 ' i n j u s t i c e ! a l a p a r t i a l i t e ! c e r t a i n s 85 d ' a i l l e u r s qu 1 on ne s ' e t o n n e r a meme p l u s de l e u r impudente mauvaise f o i . Et l e s v o i l a j a c a s s a n t : 'C'est t r o p d'audace! A-t-on i d e e de p a r e i l a r b i t r a i r e . I l s ont ose r e -f u s e r g r o s s i e r e s p a l i n o d i e s , i l s s'en v o n t , d'une v o i x de p l u s en p l u s f a i b l e e t dont 1'echo se meurt, c r a i l l e r que l e s XX ont r e s t i t u e l e s j u r y s d ' a d m i s s i o n . "75 Maus r e a l i z e d t h a t L ' A r t Moderne and the V i n g t i s t e s had l e v e l e d much the same c r i t i c i s m a t L'Essor f i v e y e a r s e a r l i e r . The s u g g e s t i o n t h a t a " j u r y " system had t a k e n over the y e a r l y e x h i b i t i o n s seemed t o c o n t r a d i c t the l i b -e r t a r i a n i d e a l s p r o f e s s e d by the V i n g t i s t e s . C e r t a i n l y the e d i t o r s of L ' A r t Moderne would have t o take r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r t h i s r e p u d i a t i o n of the group's f o u n d i n g i d e a l s , s i n c e the p u b l i c was w e l l aware of t h e i r dominion over the group. Maus' r e p l y was, s i m p l y , t h a t Tout c e l a ne vaut pas 1'honneur d'une reponse, et s i nous en p a r l o n s , c ' e s t que c e t t e h a i n e u s e e t d e l o y a l e campagne q u ' e s s a i e n t de p o u r s u i v r e c o n t r e des a r t i s t e s de coeur et de t a l e n t quelques basses n a t u r e s q u i mesurent 1 ' a r t a 1'aune de l e u r s m i s e r -a b l e s rancunes et de l e u r s mesquines d e c e p t i o n s , . . .76 Without a r e a s o n a b l e j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r c o m p l y i n g t o the demands of the M i n i s t r y of A r t s , Maus, f e e b l y , t r i e d t o d i s -c r e d i t h i s c r i t i c s . Any attempt at a defence of h i s a c t i o n s would have p l a c e d him on dangerous ground-where h i s e n t i r e management of the group c o u l d have been c a l l e d i n t o q u e s t i o n . To pursue the m atter would have opened up, t o the g l a r e of p u b l i c s c r u t i n y , a l l the d i s c r e p a n c i e s and c o n t r a d i c t i o n s t h a t Les V i n g t had accumulated d u r i n g the d i v i s i o n i s t campaign. F i r s t , Maus would have had t o admit t o the f a c t 86 t h a t he h e l d a u t o c r a t i c c o n t r o l over the group's p o l i c i e s and o p e r a t i o n s . S e c o n d l y , he would be f o r c e d t o j u s t i f y , as the spokesman f o r the avant-garde, the importance he a t t a c h e d t o Les V i n g t ' s use of the P a l a i s des B e a u x - A r t s . T h i r d l y , even a c u r s o r y i n v e s t i g a t i o n would have r e v e a l e d t h a t , i n d e e d , i n the case of Ensor, the group's o r i g i n a l i d e a l s of e g a l i t a r i a n i s m and a r t i s t i c freedom had been d i s c a r d e d . As an a l t e r n a t i v e , Maus took e v a s i v e a c t i o n by a d o p t i n g an a g g r e s s i v e stance'.in r e g a r d t o c r i t i c i s m s b e i n g l e v e l e d at h i s p e r s o n a l i n v o l v e m e n t i n V i n g t i s t e e n t e r p r i s e s . The r e -mainder of the a r t i c l e d e a l t w i t h a comment made by L u c i e n S o l v a y i n r e g a r d t o Maus 1 c h o i c e of the i n v i t e s . Maus took the l i b e r t y of r e p r i n t i n g p a r t of S o l v a y ' s s t a t e m e n t : "Jusqu'a ce j o u r , l e s o u c i d ' i n t e r e s s e r l e p u b l i c s e m b l a i t p r e s i d e r , s e u l , aux i n v i t a t i o n s . C e t t e annee, malheureusement, i l semble que ce q u i a d i c t e l e c h o i x des i n v i t e e s , ce s o i t b i e n p l u t p t l e d e s i r 'd'epater l e b o u r g e o i s . 1 C e l a  r e s s o r t , a 1'evidence, de l a physionomie gen- e r a l e de 1 ' e x p o s i t i o n a c t u e l l e , . . . ""7~7 Maus i n t e r p r e t e d t h i s a c c u s a t i o n as a s p e c i f i c a t t a c k on h i s b i a s towards the N e o - I m p r e s s i o n i s t s . He f e l t t h i s c r i t i c i s m was u n j u s t i f i e d and r e a c t e d d e f e n s i v e l y : Franchement, s u r q u i n z e i n v i t e s , deux n o v a t e u r s dont 1'audace etonne quelque peu e t f a i t g r i n c e r l e s plumes, ce n'e s t pas e x c e s s i f . Et l e c h i f f r e ne nous p a r a i t pas s u f f i s a n t pour donner une 'physionomie g e n e r a l e ' a 1 ' E x p o s i t i o n . 7 8 Maus was concerned more about what t h i s a c c u s a t i o n i m p l i e d 87 than what i t a c t u a l l y s t a t e d . Even though t h e r e were o n l y two i n v i t e s who r e p r e s e n t e d the d i v i s i o n i s t s t y l e at the e x h i b i t i o n , i t was q u i t e apparent from the r e a c t i o n of the r e v i e w e r s t h a t Maus and P i c a r d were f o c u s i n g a g r e a t d e a l of t h e i r p u b l i c i t y on the v i r t u e s of d i v i s i o n -ism. S o l v a y was one of those " p a l a d a i n s - de l a morale, pub-l i q u e " who had condemned the s e c r e t a r y ' s b a n n ing of Ensor's work. Now he was a l s o s u g g e s t i n g t h a t Maus, a l o n e , c o n t r o l -l e d the c h o i c e of i n v i t e s a t the e x h i b i t i o n s . T h i s was y e t another example of Les V i n g t ' s f o r f e i t u r e of i t s o r i g i n a l p r i n c i p l e s . The e d i t o r s of L ' A r t Moderne, r a t h e r than abandoning t h e i r d i v i s i o n i s t campaign a f t e r a l l t h i s s c r u t i n y , merely chose a new t a c t i c a l approach. They l o o k e d f o r s u p p o r t from those c r i t i c s who were more r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of the B e l g i a n s t a t u s quo. In the f o l l o w i n g month, the j o u r n a l r e p r i n t e d an a r t i c l e from what i t d e s c r i b e d as "un j o u r n a l q u i n'a pas coutume de f a i r e l e coup de f e u aux a v a n t -p o s t e s , La F l a n d r e L i b e r a l e . " 7 9 The a r t i c l e quoted the j o u r n a l ' s c r i t i c , A l b e r t M i c h e l : "Les a d v e r s a i r e s du ne o - i m p r e s s i o n n i s m e , e t j e d o i s d i r e q u ' i l s sont l e g i o n , f o n t s u r -t o u t e t a t c o n t r e l u i de ce q u ' i l f a i t j o u e r au procede un r p l e p r eponderant. C'est, d i t -on, l e procede prenant l a p l a c e de l ' a r t e t v o u l a n t s'imposer en ma£tre i m p e r i e u x , a l o r s que, comme l a r i m e , i l ne d o i t q u ' o b e i r . " 8 0 A c c o r d i n g t o M i c h e l , the N e o - I m p r e s s i o n i s t s were a c h i e v i n g 88 the g o a l s of mode r n i t y and i f one f e l t o b l i g e d t o condemn t h e i r methods, he wr o t e , one would a l s o have t o condemn the whole e v o l u t i o n of a r t , s i n c e a l l a r t s h a r e d the q u a l i t y of c o n s t a n t t r a n s f o r m a t i o n "dans l e sens d 1une r e c h e r c h e de p l u s en p l u s complete de l a r e a l i t e . . . . t r e s c e r t a i n e m e n t l e p r i n c i p a l o b j e t de 1 ' e v o l u t i o n a r t i s t i q u e . " 8 1 L ' A r t Moderne used t h i s c r i t i c ' s s u p p o r t t o v a l i d a t e the N e o - I m p r e s s i o n i s t ' s r i g h t f u l p l a c e i n the h i e r a r c h y of modern a r t and t o a l i g n t h e i r work w i t h the e f f o r t s of t h e i r p r e d e c e s s o r s . "C'est s u r t o u t l ' e c o l e du paysage q u i , . . a j e t e s u r ce s i e c l e un e c l a t a r t i s t i q u e q u i rend 1'egal des p l u s grands. Les n e o - i m p r e s s i o n n i s t e s ne f o n t q u ' a l l e r p l u s en avant dans c e t t e v o i e . Les clameurs e t l e s r a i l l e r i e s dont on l e s a c c u e i l l e , on l e s a l a n c e e s a u t r e f o i s a d ' a u t r e s q u i main-tena n t s o n t c o n s a c r e s . I I semble que 1'homme a i t a l a f o i s f a i m e t degout de l a v e r i t e : i l ne l a goute qu'a c o n d i t i o n d ' e t r e ancienne; n o u v e l l e , e l l e l u i repugne, mais l e temps f a i t son oeuvre. Qui t o u t en admirant Hobemme e t R u y s d a e l , v o u d r a i t encore que 1' on peignjLt comme eux?"82 T h i s a r t i c l e gave credence t o the e d i t o r ' s campaign t o e s t a b l i s h Neo-Impressionism on B e l g i a n s o i l . M i c h e l ' s argument was e x p l o i t a b l e because i t p r o v i d e d L ' A r t Moderne w i t h s u p p o r t from what was o t h e r w i s e c o n s i d e r e d a c o n s e r -v a t i v e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of the p r e s s . T h i s u n q u a l i f i e d a cceptance of L ' A r t Moderne's p r e s e n t a t i o n of Neo-Impres-s i o n i s m by t h i s p a r t i c u l a r c r i t i c p r o v i d e d a s t r a t e g y t o ga r n e r g r e a t e r s u p p o r t f o r Maus and P i c a r d ' s campaign. 89 Michel's d i s c u s s i o n of d i v i s i o n i s m made no r e f e r e n c e to the a r t s t y l e ' s p o s s i b l e p o l i t i c a l a s s o c i a t i o n s . Rather, the a r t i c l e helped to r e i n f o r c e the n o t i o n of the l o g i c and n e c e s s i t y of e v o l u t i o n a r y change that was manifest i n t h i s new a e s t h e t i c . In a d d i t i o n , Michel encouraged the p u b l i c ' s acceptance of t h i s new a r t . This new s t r a t e g y on the part of L'Art Moderne was meant to prepare the way f o r the f o l l o w i n g year's e x h i b i t i o n , where, to no one's s u r p r i s e , d i v i s i o n i s m was to overshadow every other s t y l e represented i n the show. 90 FOOTNOTES - CHAPTER THREE "'"Georges Rodenbach, "Tgte de v i n g t i s t e s , " Les  Pr o g r e s ( F e b r u a r y 10, 1887); c i t e d by B l o c k , p. 108. 2 Georges Ver d a v a i n n e , "L 1 E x p o s i t i o n des XX," La F e d e r a t i o n A r t i s t i q u e (February 12, 1887): 134. 3"Au g u i 1'an neuf!," L ' A r t Moderne V I I (January 2, 1887): 1. 4 I b i d . , p. 2. ^ I b i d . , pp. 1-2. I b i d . , p. 2. 7 Kossman, p. 331. g "Le v i n g t i s m e , " L ' A r t Moderne V I I ( F e b r u a r y 20, 1887): 58. 9 I b i d . , p. 59. 10 "Les v i n g t i s t e s P a r i s i e n s , " L ' A r t Moderne VI (June 27, 1886): 264. 11 T, ., I b i d . 1 2 T K I b i d . 13 T, I b i d . 14 In a f o o t n o t e t o Maus' a r t i c l e , P i c a r d ' s r e -sponse i n r e g a r d t o the p o s s i b i l i t y of S e u r a t ' s p a i n t -i n g c r e a t i n g a s c a n d a l was "'Done, mon cher Maus, i l f a u t l ' e x p o s e r aux XX, 1 1 an p r o c h a i n . ' Ed. P."'This i s an i n d i c a t i o n of P i c a r d ' s a u t h o r i t y t o make d e c i s i o n s c o n c e r n i n g i n v i t e s • See "Les v i n g t i s t e s P a r i s i e n s . " 15 Octave Maus t o Eugene Boch, 29 October 1886, A.A.C. Fons B o u c h e l l e 3914, c i t e d by Canning, p. 170, f n . 3 . 91 • 16 See "Correspondance p a r t i c u l i e r e de L ' A r t  Moderne," L ' A r t Moderne VI (September 19, 1886): 300-02. 17 Octave Maus, "Le p i t t o r e s q u e , " i n t r o d u c t i o n to C a t a l o g u e de l a IV e x p o s i t i o n a n n u e l l e des XX ( B r u x e l l e s : 1887): v i i . 18 In a l l the d i s c u s s i o n s and c r i t i c a l r e v i e w s t h a t L ' A r t Moderne p u b l i s h e d i n r e l a t i o n t o Neo-Impressionism, t h e r e i s no mention of i t s a s s o c i a t i o n s i n France w i t h p o l i t i c a l Anarchism. The d i s c u s s i o n s always i n v o l v e d a r e i t e r a t i o n of Maus 1 and P i c a r d ' s i d e a s c o n c e r n i n g Neo-I m p r e s s i o n i s m 1 s r o l e i n r e g a r d t o modernity or the f o r m a l a s p e c t s of the a r t s t y l e . For a d i s c u s s i o n of the r e l a t i o n -s h i p between p o l i t i c a l Anarchism and Neo-Impressionism i n F r a n c e , see E. H e r b e r t , The A r t i s t and S o c i a l Reform. 1 g S i g n a c d e s c r i b e d these d i v i s i o n i s t parameters when he wrote: "By the e l i m i n a t i o n of a l l muddy m i x t u r e s , by the e x c l u s i v e use of the o p t i c a l m i x t u r e of pure c o l o r s , by a m e t h o d i c a l d i v i s i o n i s m and a s t r i c t o b s e r v a t i o n of the s c i e n t i f i c t h e o r y of c o l o u r s , the n e o - i m p r e s s i o n i s t i n s u r e s a maximum of l u m i n o s i t y , of c o l o r i n t e n s i t y , and of h a r m o n y — a r e s u l t t h a t has never been o b t a i n e d . " C i t e d by Horst de l a C r o i x and R i c h a r d G. Tansey i n Gardner's  A r t Through the Ages -(New York: H a r c o u r t , B r a c e , Jovan-o v i c h , I n c . , 1980), p. 782. 20 "Chronique," L ' E t o i l e B e i g e , F e b r u a r y 6, 1887, c i t e d by Canning, p. 149. 21 M. O. Maus, p. 53. 22 A r t a n worked i n a p l e i n - a i r s t y l e s i m i l a r t o the B a r b i z o n p a i n t e r s ; de B r a e k e l e e r and Smits worked i n a r e a l i s t s t y l e s a n c t i o n e d by the B r u s s e l s Academy. A l l t h r e e were e s t a b l i s h e d a r t i s t s r e p r e s e n t i n g the p r e v i o u s g e n e r a t i o n of B e l g i a n p a i n t e r s . The f a c t t h a t they a c c e p t e d the i n v i t a t i o n t o e x h i b i t w i t h Les V i n g t shows how w e l l Maus had c o n v i n c e d the c u l t u r a l l y c o n s e r v a t i v e B e l g i a n s about Les V i n g t ' s a p o l i t i c i s m . 23 John Rewald, P o s t - I m p r e s s i o n i s m : From van Gogh to Gauguin (New York: The Museum of Modern A r t , 1978), p. 104. 92 24 F r a n c i s N a u t e t , J o u r n a l de B r u x e l l e s , F e b r u a r y 23, 1887. 25 Georges V e r d a v a i n n e , " L ' E x p o s i t i o n des XX," La F e d e r a t i o n A r t i s t i q u e ( F ebruary 12, 1887): 135. T h i s c r i t i c ' s p o s i t i o n v i s - a - v i s Les V i n g t i s an ambiguous one. A l t h o u g h he was o f t e n c r i t i c a l of t h e i r a r t and t h e i r i d e n -t i t y , he o f t e n made p o s i t i v e r e f e r e n c e s i n r e g a r d t o the p o s s i b i l i t y of the group's c o n t r i b u t i o n to B e l g i a n a r t . His commentary on the N e o - I m p r e s s i o n i s t s was aimed a t d i s p u t i n g L ' A r t Moderne's s t a t e m e n t s which r e f e r r e d t o t h i s new a r t form as b e i n g the most modern at t h a t time i n Belgium. I b i d . 2 7 I b i d . , pp. 135-136. 2 8 " L ' E x p o s i t i o n des XX," L ' A r t Moderne V I I ( F e b r u a r y 13, 1887): 49. 29 " P e t i t e c h r o n i q u e , " L' A r t Moderne V I I -(March 27, 1887): 103. 30 C a m i l l e Lemonnier, " L ' A r t nouveau," L ' A r t  Moderne V I I (March 13, 1887): 85. 31 Octave Maus, "Le v i n g t i s m e , " L ' A r t Moderne V I I ( F e b r u a r y 20, 1887): .58. 32 " L ' a n c i e n e t l e n o u v e l i m p r e s s i o n n i s m e , " L ' A r t Moderne V I I I ( F e b r u a r y 5, 1888): 42. 33 F r a n c i n e - C l a i r e Legrand, "Fernand K h n o p f f - -P e r f e c t S y m b o l i s t , " A p o l l o 85 ( A p r i l 1967): 280. "^Eugene Demolder, "Chronique a r t i s t i q u e , " La  S o c i e t e N o u v e l l e (1888) : 182. By t h i s time i t was obvious to a l l the p r e s s t h a t L ' A r t Moderne was i n c o n t r o l of a l l V i n g t i s t e d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g . However, the e d i t o r s never pub-l i c l y conceded t o t h a t f a c t . 35 " L ' a n c i e n e t l e n o u v e l i m p r e s s i o n n i s m e , " p. 42. 93 3 6 See Farmer f o r examples of these works. 37 F r a n c i n e - C l a i r e Legrand, "Les l e t t r e s de James Ensor a Octave Maus," Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts de  B e l g i q u e 15 (1966): 24. 3 8 F r a n c i n e - C l a i r e Legrand, "Ensor, Les XX e t l a p e i n t u r e f r a n g a i s e , " Medecine de France (August 1962): 18. 39 F. C. Legrand, "Les l e t t r e s , " p. 26. 40 F. C. L e g r a n d . i n "Les l e t t r e s , " p. 26, f n . 1, makes t h i s o b s e r v a t i o n : "C'est l a p r e m i e r e f o i s que se pose l a q u e s t i o n d'admettre des e t r a n g e r s parmi l e s XX. . . [ W h i s t l e r ] e x e r c e une u n f l u e n c e t r e s n e t t e s u r c e r t a i n s V i n g t i s t e s . I I a lui-m^me exprime l e d e s i r de f a i r e p a r t i e du groupe." 41 B r u s s e l s was a Walloon s t r o n g h o l d . The Walloons t r a d i t i o n a l l y a s s o c i a t e d themselves w i t h French c u l t u r e and language, and were e i t h e r s t r o n g l y opposed or i n d i f f e r e n t to the F l e m i s h movement. 42 Ensor e x e c u t e d Jesus Shown t o the People and The  E n t r y i n t o J e r u s a l e m i n 1885. They were the f i r s t two draw-i n g s of the s e r i e s e n t i t l e d , The A u r e o l e s of C h r i s t or the  S e n s i b i l i t i e s of L i g h t . In h i s monograph on Ensor's p a i n t -i n g , The E n t r y of C h r i s t i n t o B r u s s e l s i n 1889, W a l t e r V a n b e s e l a e r e , L' E n t r e e du C h r i s t a_ B r u x e l l e s ( B r u x e l l e s : E d i t i o n s Weissenbruch, 1957), pp. 15-17, h y p o t h e s i z e s t h a t Ensor's p r e l i m i n a r y s k e t c h f o r The E n t r y i n t o J e r u s a l e m c o u l d have been i n s p i r e d by h i s w i t n e s s i n g of a s t r e e t c e l -e b r a t i o n viewed from a b a l c o n y . The two houses a t the r i g h t and l e f t u p h o l d t h i s o b s e r v a t i o n . He a l s o s u g g e s t s t h a t Ensor took p a r t i n the annual p r o c e s s i o n of S a i n t Sang at Bruges. The f e s t i v a l i n c l u d e d a re-enactment of C h r i s t ' s "Triumphal E n t r y " i n t o the c i t y s e a t e d on an a s s . The pro-c e s s i o n was a t t e n d e d by the a r c h b i s h o p and c l e r g y , who d i s -p l a y e d the r e l i c of the b l o o d of C h r i s t f o r the crowds. C a t h o l i c groups would s t a g e scenes from the Old Testament and C h r i s t ' s P a s s i o n . J u l i u s K a p l a n , "The R e l i g i o u s S u b j e c t s of James Ensor," Revue b e i g e d ' a r c h e o l o g i e e t d ' h i s t o i r e de 1 ' a r t 35 (1975): 184. Kaplan a l s o p o i n t s out t h a t t h i s p o r t r a i t 94 i s drawn from a photograph by Nadar, a copy of which i s i n the Museum of Modern A r t , New York. See a l s o , L_e P e t i t  L a r o u s s e , P a r i s , 1965, p. 1497, f o r t h i s photograph. 44 See K a p l a n , p. 184. T h i s l a s t phrase i s sug-g e s t i v e of the mordant humour i n Ensor's approach t o t h i s p i c t u r e . As K a p l a n p o i n t s o u t , pork would have been a p r o s c r i b e d meat i n a Hebrew community. 45 A c h i l l e Chainaye, "Le s a l o n des XX," La Reforme, F e b r u a r y 6, 1887, c i t e d by B l o c k , p. 153. 46 Mecoenas, La Chronique, F e b r u a r y 27, 1887, c i t e d by Canning, p. 15 7. ^^Eugene Demolder, James Ensor ( B r u x e l l e s : 1892), p. 19. 48 J u l e s D e s t r e e (1863-1936) was a l a w y e r who a l s o wrote r e v i e w s f o r B e l g i a n l i t e r a r y j o u r n a l s . E a r l y i n the 1880's he was a s s o c i a t e d w i t h La Jeune B e l g i q u e . He l a t e r became a c t i v e i n the s o c i a l i s t movement. J u l e s D e s t r e e , " L ' E x p o s i t i o n des XX," La Jeune  B e l g i q u e -(1887) : 135. 5 0 A . - J . Wauters, "Aux XX," La G a z e t t e , F e b r u a r y 10, 1887, c i t e d by B l o c k , p. 92. ^ S h e p a r d B. Clough, A_ H i s t o r y of the F l e m i s h Move- ment i n Belgium (New York: Octagon Books, I n c . , 1968), p. 49. 52 P. M a n s e l l Jones, Verhaeren (London, 1957), p. 21. 53 Dore Ashton, "James Ensor's R e - E n t r i e s , " A r t s  Magazine (March 1977): 135. 54 Le M o n i t e u r des A r t s , F e b r u a r y 18, 1887, c i t e d by O l l i n g e r - Z i n q u e , p. 202. Max S u l z b e r g e r , "Aux XX," L ' E t o i l e B e i g e . F e b r u a r y 14, 1887. 95 56 Georges V e r d a v a i n n e , " L ' E x p o s i t i o n des XX," La  F e d e r a t i o n A r t i s t i q u e •( February 12, 1887): 135. 57 T, I b i d . 5 8 See B l o c k , p. 87. f o r an e x p l a n a t i o n of Maus' i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h the M i n i s t r y and h i s r o l e i n making these k i n d s of d e c i s i o n s f o r Les V i n g t . 5 9 K a p l a n , p. 196. 6 0 Mecoenas, "Le s a l o n des v i n g t , " La Chronique ( F e b r u a r y 20, 1888), c i t e d by B l o c k , pp. 86-87. 61 Octave Maus, "James Ensor," La Plume •( 1899) : 33., c i t e d by B l o c k , p. 87. 6 2 See Legrand, "Les l e t t r e s , " p. 33. I b i d . 64 I b i d . In a l e t t e r d a t e d F e b r u a r y 6, w r i t t e n from B r u s s e l s , Ensor beseeched Maus to a l l o w him t o b r i n g i n h i s works t o be hung. A few days l a t e r , i n response t o a r e p l y from Maus he e x p l a i n e d t h a t he would hang the works on S a t -urday . ^ M e c o e n a s , La Chronique, F e b r u a r y 20, 1888. 6 6 See Wilhelm F r a e n g e r , "Die K a t h e d r a l e , " i n Ensor-- e i n Maler aus dem s p a t e n 19. J a h r h u n d e r t , 4. Marz b i s 7.  Mai, 19 72. S t u t t g a r t , Germany: Wurtembergischer K u n s t v e r e i n , 1972., f o r a thorough d i s c u s s i o n of t h i s work. 6 7 " L e s a l o n des XX," L 1 A r t Moderne V I I I ( F e b r u a r y 19, 1888): 57. 6 8 F r a n c i n e - C l a i r e Legrand, Ensor, c e t i n c o n n u ( B r u x e l l e s : La R e n a i s s a n c e du L i v r e , 1971), p. 71. 6 9 T , . , I b i d . 96 70 "Aux XX," L ' E t o i l e B e i g e , F e b r u a r y 5, 1888 71 " A r t s , s c i e n c e s e t l e t t r e s , " Le C o u r i e r B e i g e , F e b r u a r y 5, 1888, c i t e d by B e l g i a n A r t : 1880-1914, A p r i l 2 to June 29, 1980. B r o o k l y n , New York: The B r o o k l y n Museum, 1980., p. 23. 7? "Depuis c i n q ans," L ' A r t Moderne V I I I ( F e b r u a r y 26, 1888): 65. 73 J I b i d . 74 T, I b i d . 75 T, I b i d . 7 6 I b i d . , p. 67. 77 I b i d . 78 T, I b i d . 79 "Le n e o - i m p r e s s i o n n i s m e , " L ' A r t Moderne V I I I (March 10, 1888) : 83. 8 0 I b i d . , p. 84. 81 T. I b i d . 82 ; , I b i d . 97 CHAPTER FOUR CONCLUSION—THE SALON OF 1889: THE VICTORY OF DIVISIONISM AND THE DEMISE OF ENSOR, THE "PERFECT ANARCHIST." Les V i n g t ' s 1889 e x h i b i t i o n was a showcase of Neo-Impres-s i o n i s t works. A s i d e from the p a i n t i n g s by French Neo-Impres-s i o n i s t s , i n c l u d i n g Georges S e u r a t , the numerous e n t r i e s by V i n g t i s t e s e x e c u t e d i n a d i v i s i o n i s t t e c h n i q u e s i g n i f i e d t h a t , i n d e e d , the new a e s t h e t i c had become f i r m l y r o o t e d on B e l g i a n s o i l . With t h i s e x h i b i t i o n , Anna Boch, H e n r i Van de V e l d e , Theo van R y s s e l b e r g h e , W i l l y F i n c h , George Lemmen and Jan Toorop j o i n e d the ranks of the d i v i s i o n i s t e x h i b i t -o r s . 1 The d e s i g n of the p o s t e r f o r the show, which was co v e r e d i n d i v i s i o n i s t d o t s , was emblematic of the domin-ance of t h i s f a c t i o n of a r t i s t s . In the e x h i b i t i o n c a t a l o g u e Maus r e i t e r a t e d the same i d e a s t h a t had become the trademarks of a l l h i s commentaries on Les V i n g t . Three i d e a s dominated h i s d i s c u s s i o n . F i r s t , he argued t h a t the V i n g t i s t e s were s t i l l b e i n g u n j u s t l y c e n s u r e d by the B e l g i a n p r e s s . He r e s u r r e c t e d the same c o m p l a i n t s he had l e v e l e d at the c r i t i c s two y e a r s b e f o r e : . . . le_ V i n g t i s m e . Neologisme b i z a r r e , q u i a f a i t f o r t u n e g r a c e a ceux q u ' i l e x a s p e r a i t , e t desormais s i b i e n e n r a c i n e dans l a langue q u ' i l s e r a i t d i f f i c i l e de 1'en a r r a c h e r . On l ' a c o n s i d e r e comme l a q u a l i f i -c a t i o n d'une d o c t r i n e ou d'une e c o l e . D'une e c o l e ! A l o r s que l e s XX, comme tous l e s p a r t i s a n s de l ' a r t 98 nouveau, proclament que l e s e c o l e s sont p e r n i c -ieuses et a r r e t e n t 1 1 e s s o r a r t i s t i q u e . . . . a [Vingtisme] on a r a t t a c h e tout ce qui e x i s t e de v i o l e n t , de tumultueux, de r e v o l u t i o n n a i r e , d 1 a n a r c h i s t e . 2 Maus' e x c e s s i v e p r o t e s t , given the f a c t that Les Vingt had a l r e a d y won the support of many of the B r u s s e l s c r i t i c s , appears g r a t u i t o u s . But by keeping a l i v e the n o t i o n that the V i n g t i s t e s were the h e l p l e s s v i c t i m s of j o u r n a l i s t i c scapegoating, Maus hoped to arouse the sympathy of the view-in g p u b l i c . Secondly, he underscored the important r o l e Neo-Impres-sionism played i n the cause of a r t i s t i c progress and i t s dominance w i t h i n the c i r c l e of V i n g t i s t e s . He e x p l a i n e d that II e x i s t e c e r t a i n e s expressions d ' a r t communes a un groupe de p e i n t r e s . C e l l e q u i f a i t , en ce moment, l e pl u s de b r u i t , est l e neo-impression-nisme fonde sur l a d i v i s i o n des tons, . . .3 F i n a l l y , he i n s i s t e d t h a t , although the d i v i s i o n i s t s t y l e c u r r e n t l y overshadowed a l l other work being done by the group, Les Vingt s t i l l r e t a i n e d the i n t e g r i t y of i t s i n i t i a l commit-ment to l i b e r t a r i a n v a l u e s . Jamais, au grand jamais, l e s XX n'ont songe a c o n s t i t u e r un groupe u n i par des a f f i n i t e s de v i s i o n et de f a c t u r e . . . . Les XX ont a coeur, au rebours de ce que soutiennent l e s i g n o r a n t s et l e s myopes, de prouver que 1 1 Art n'est pas cantonne dans UNE FORMULE DETERMINEE.4 Reviews of the show were, on the whole, more p o s i t i v e than they had ever been.5 F r a n c i s Nautet, w r i t i n g f o r La Belgique, was r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of a l a r g e number of c r i t i c s 99 who had g r a d u a l l y come t o accept much of the r h e t o r i c Maus used t o d i s c u s s the group's i d e n t i t y and i t s r e l e v a n c e t o Belgium's a r t i s t i c t r a d i t i o n s . Nautet d e s c r i b e d t h i s e x h i b -i t i o n as . . . l a p l u s b r i l l a n t e , l a p l u s v i v a n t e de nos d e r n i e r e s e x p o s i t i o n s . I I y a l a un a i r de b a t a i l l e i n t e r e s s a n t , une s e r i e u s e f e r m e n t a t i o n de j e u n e s s e , une e m u l a t i o n t r e s soutenue et beaucoup de f o i s i n c e r e . . . . En tous c a s , l e s XX, c ' e s t de tous nos c e r c l e s de p e i n t u r e c e l u i q u i nous p a r a i t s u i v r e e t meme un peu mener l e c o u r a n t a r t i s t i q u e l e p l u s a r d e n t de n o t r e epoque.6 Georges V e r d a v a i n n e , i n h i s a r t i c l e on the e x h i b i t i o n , a l s o acknowledged the c l a i m s Maus made on b e h a l f of the group. The V i n g t i s t e s , he wrote, say t h a t they combattent au nom du P r o g r e s c o n t r e l a R o u t i n e , au nom de l a Pensee l i b r e c o n t r e 1 1 Idee emprisonnee par l e s r e g i e s anciennes et l a t r a d i t i o n . I l s sont en d ' a u t r e s termes 1'Avenir en presence du Passe.7 But even though b o t h th e s e c r i t i c s agreed t h a t the e f f o r t s of the V i n g t i s t e s were v a l u a b l e t o the cause of modern B e l -g i a n a r t , each of them c r i t i c i z e d c e r t a i n f e a t u r e s of the group's i d e o l o g i c a l b a s i s . Nautet, who was a f e r v e n t n a t -i o n a l i s t , touched on a s e n s i t i v e i s s u e when he noted i n h i s a r t i c l e t h a t the show r e p r e s e n t e d the unwelcome i n v a s i o n of F rench i n f l u e n c e s i n t o Belgium: En p a r c o u r a n t He S a l o n des XX, on s e r a i t t e n t e de penser, a p r e m i e r e vue, que n o t r e e c o l e flamande e t h o l l a n d a i s e , apres a v o i r s e r v i de modele et d ' i n s p i r a t r i c e aux p a y s a g i s t e s f r a n c a i s q u ' e l l e a c r e e s , va se t r o u v e r r e d u i t e a se r a v i t a i l l e r chez nos v o i s i n s . L ' a r t i m p r e s s i o n n i s t e neo-100 i m p r e s s i o n n i s t e , ou ce que 1'on comprend v u l -gairement comme t e l , e s t un a r t d 1 i m p o r t a t i o n . 8 V e r d a v a i n n e , a l t h o u g h a c c e p t i n g Maus' i d e a of e v o l u t i o n a r y p r o g r e s s , noted t h a t i n the p a s t , " . . . chaque e v o l u t i o n a e t e apportee e t marquee par l ' e f f o r t d'un p e i n t r e ou d 1 u n groupe de p e i n t r e s , . . devoues a 1 1 i d e a l a t t e i n t ou a a t t e i n d r e , " u n i t e d i n t h e i r e f f o r t and committed t o a s i n g l e i d e a ". . . jusqu'au j o u r ou l a mort a b r i s e l e u r p a l e t t e . " The V i n g t i s t e s , on the o t h e r hand, have gone through ". . . e n c i n q ans . . . deux ou t r o i s e v o l u t i o n s a r t i s t i q u e s . " 9 T h i s p r o c l i v i t y t o change a r t i s t i c d i r e c t i o n s , a c c o r d i n g t o t h i s c r i t i c , d i m i n i s h e d . i t h e i r r e r e d i b i l i t y : En 1'espace d'un l u s t r e i l s ont change t r o i s ou q u a t r e f o i s d ' o p i n i o n . Souvenez-vous; M. J . E n s o r , que j e c o m b a t t a i s a c e t t e epoque avec acharnement menait l e s jeunes m i l i c e s a l ' a s s a u t , . . . La s i x -ieme e x p o s i t i o n des XX marque avec son triomphe a b s o l u l a d e f a i t e i r r e m e d i a b l e de ce pauvre James Ensor, . . . Le n e o - i m p r e s s i o n n i s m e , l ' h e r e s i e a r t -i s t i q u e c o l p o r t e e par MM. S e u r a t , S i g n a c , Dubois-P i l l e t e t adoptee par l a m a j o r i t e des XX. . . en meme v a l e u r a r t i s t i q u e mais d'un genre d i f f e r e n t , . . .10 As V e r d a v a i n n e suggested i n h i s a r t i c l e , the u n q u a l i f i e d s u c c e s s of the N e o - I m p r e s s i o n i s t s o n l y h i g h l i g h t e d the demise of Ensor. H i s p o s i t i o n of power which had been so p r e c a r i o u s f o r the p a s t two y e a r s was now i r r e t r i e v a b l y l o s t w i t h the e x h i b i t i o n of 1889. A l l the e n t r i e s s e n t by the Ostend p a i n t e r were o b s c u r e d by the overwhelming u b i q u i t y of Neo-I m p r e s s i o n i s m . 101 Ensor's c o n t r i b u t i o n t o the show i n c l u d e d a number of i m p r e s s i o n i s t works: p o r t r a i t s , l a n d s c a p e s , s t i l l - l i f e s , s e a -scapes and a r e l i g i o u s work e n t i t l e d Adam and Eve ( 1 8 8 7 ) . H He a l s o sent a number of e t c h i n g s and d r a w i n g s , which he l i s t -ed i n the c a t a l o g u e as " F a n t a s i e s , g r o t e s q u e s , d i a b l e r i e s , g r imaces e t i n c o h e r a n c e s . " The S t r i k e and The Temptation of  S t . Anthony were a g a i n l i s t e d among Ensor's e n t r i e s i n the c a t a l o g u e , but i t i s u n c e r t a i n whether the two works were a c t u a l l y hung i n t h e show. No mention of them was made by the show's r e v i e w e r s . What l i t t l e r e f e r e n c e t o h i s work was made by the c r i t i c s was l a r g e l y n e g a t i v e . Even Nautet who counted Ensor as p a r t of ". . . un p e t i t groupe . . [aux XX] q u i se d i s t i n g u e par l e s e n t i m e n t a 1 ' a c t i o n , " 1 2 was p e r p l e x e d by h i s l a t e s t p i c -t u r e s : . . . M. James Ensor, p e i n t r e embroyonnaire, chao-t i q u e comme son Adam et Eve, ou 1;idee de genese e s t s i estrangement - exprimee: Tout s ' annonce , e l e -ments/ e t c c h o s e s , dans une c o n f u s i o n v o u l u e ; l u m i e r e et paysage a p p a r a i s s e n t i n f o r m e s , avec l e u r a c c e n t p r i m o r d i a l . . . . S ! i l e s t parmi ceux q u i d o i v e n t d i r e quelque c h o s e - e t 1'on s a i t q u e l l e i n d i g e n c e de pensee e s t a u j o u r d ' h u i regnante dans l e monde des p e i n t r e s , - i l l a d i r a puissamment. -Mais quand?13 Here Nautet s u g g e s t e d a q u a l i f i e d acknowledgement of Ensor's a b i l i t y t o become a v a l u a b l e i n n o v a t o r among B e l g i a n a r t i s t s . Even though t h i s c r i t i c found Ensor's p a i n t i n g s d i f f i c u l t t o comprehend, he a l s o f e l t they were worthy of f u r t h e r c o n s i d -e r a t i o n . While most of the V i n g t i s t e s , by t h i s t i m e , had 102 succumbed t o the i n f l u e n c e of f o r e i g n s t y l e s , Ensor remained committed t o h i s F l e m i s h n e s s . N a u t e t ' s a t t i t u d e , based on t h i s knowledge, was r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of those c r i t i c s who viewed E n s o r ' s a r t i s t i c i n i t i a t i v e s w i t h hope f o r the s u r v i v a l of an i n d i g e n o u s a r t form. Ensor, however, f a c e d s e r i o u s o b s t a c l e s from w i t h i n h i s own avant-garde t o a c h i e v i n g the r e s u l t s of these i n i t i a t i v e s . The most damaging c r i t i c i s m s a g a i n s t Ensor i n 1889 came from Les V i n g t ' s most arde n t s u p p o r t e r - - L ' A r t Moderne. The j o u r n -a l ' s v e r d i c t on the p a i n t i n g Adam and Eve was t h a t "ces i n -e x a c t i t u d e s de v i s i o n coupent e t scandent l e t a b l e a u e t de-'-t r u i s e n t t o u t grand e f f e t d'ensemble," the j o u r n a l c o n c l u d e d i t s condemnation of the a r t i s t ' s e n t r i e s w i t h the judgement t h a t t h e r e was a "manque de l o g i q u e en t o u t l e s e n v o i s du p e i n t u r e , . . ."14 "Lack of l o g i c " and " i n e x a c t i t u d e s of v i s i o n , " were the a t t r i b u t e s of En s o r ' s F l e m i s h n e s s and h i s p r o t e s t a g a i n s t the a r t i f i c e and exaggerated r e f i n e m e n t of the d i v i s i o n i s t s . Such c r i t i c i s m s , coming from an avant-garde j o u r n a l , i n d i c a t e d a b l a t a n t denouncement of what the a e s t h -e t i c s i g n i f i e d . The c o n f l i c t between the i d e o l o g y mediated by Ensor's imagery and t h a t of the N e o - I m p r e s s i o n i s t s was c l e a r l y seen by L ' A r t Moderne as i r r e c o n c i l a b l e . In accordance w i t h t h i s f a c t , i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g t h a t E n s or's major work. The E n t r y of C h r i s t i n t o B r u s s e l s i n 1889, 1888 ( f i g u r e 5 ) , though l i s t e d i n the c a t a l o g u e t h a t y e a r , 103 was not shown. There are no r e c o r d s which e x p l a i n i t s omis-s i o n . A l t h o u g h the work was not p u b l i c l y e x h i b i t e d u n t i l 1929, i t s v a l u e t o an a n a l y s i s of Ensor and Les V i n g t ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d i s u n q u e s t i o n a b l e , , The p a i n t i n g ' s e x c l u s i o n from the e x h i b i t i o n i s p a r t i c u l a r l y s i g n i f i c a n t , g i v e n Maus' a t t i t u d e towards Ensor and h i s work d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d . I f Ensor had t a k e n the i n i t i a t i v e t o l i s t the work i n the c a t a l o g u e , then i t i s p r o b a b l e t h a t i t s absence was due t o a d e c i s i o n made by Maus. I t has a l r e a d y been shown t h a t Maus o f t e n s e r v e d as the " j u r o r " of what was t o be or not t o be shown. In The E n t r y of C h r i s t i n t o B r u s s e l s i n 1889, a l l the a t t r i b u t e s of E n sor's v i s u a l p r o t e s t c r y s t a l l i z e . Concept-u a l l y , the p a i n t i n g had i t s r o o t s i n the s e r i e s of drawings d a t i n g from the p e r i o d of 1885 to 1886, and i s t h e m a t i c a l l y r e l a t e d t o C h r i s t ' s E n t r y i n t o J e r u s a l e m . Ensor d i d a p r e -l i m i n a r y s k e t c h f o r the p a i n t i n g which r e l a t e s t o the imagery of t h i s e a r l i e r s e r i e s of drawings.16 The most s t r i k i n g change i n t h i s s k e t c h i s the s h i f t from a v e r t i c a l t o a h o r i z o n t a l f o r m a t , which de-emphasizes the f i g u r e of C h r i s t and b r i n g s the f o r e g r o u n d i n t o s t r o n g e r f o c u s . T h i s change i n format s u g g e s t s t h a t Ensor's i n t e r e s t has s h i f t e d from the r e l a t i o n s h i p between C h r i s t and the crowd t o the crowd i t s e l f . A l a r g e , p i l l a r - l i k e d e v i c e d i v i d e s the p i c t u r e i n t o 104 two s e c t i o n s . To the l e f t of the p i l l a r , C h r i s t , as i n the p r e v i o u s s k e t c h e s , i s seen r i d i n g on an ass w i t h h i s arm r a i s e d i n b l e s s i n g . To the r i g h t of the p i l l a r , however, another f i g u r e , r a d i a t i n g l i g h t , s t a n d s b e f o r e the crowd, a l s o w i t h an arm r a i s e d i n b l e s s i n g , and under another banner. The drum major i s p r e s e n t , as b e f o r e , w i t h h i s back t u r n e d towards C h r i s t . A l t h o u g h few of the f i g u r e s are s k e t c h e d i n any de- . t a i l , masked f i g u r e s are i n e v i d e n c e . The r a i s e d p l a t f o r m on the r i g h t , and the l a r g e banners t h a t e n c l o s e the space have a l s o been r e t a i n e d from the e a r l i e r d r a w i n g s . The s t r e e t , however, has been widened and the arrangement of the crowd, i n adjustment t o the h o r i z o n t a l f o r m a t , moves d i a g o n a l l y , from the upper r i g h t - h a n d c o r n e r of the s k e t c h t o the lower l e f t c o r n e r . The p o i n t of view i s above and i n f r o n t of the crowd. Another change t h a t i s e v i d e n t i n t h i s s k e t c h concerns the n a t u r e of the crowd i t s e l f . I n t h i s s k e t c h , the c a r n i v a l atmosphere and the c i n e m a t i c view of the crowd have begun to overshadow the r e l i g i o u s a s p e c t s of the e a r l i e r image. The devotees l o c a t e d on the r a i s e d p l a t f o r m i n the 1885 d r a w i n g , f o r i n s t a n c e , have now been t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o c lowns. T h i s impious and unorthodox f u s i o n of m o t i f s from Ensor's contemporary m i l i e u w i t h t r a d i t i o n a l imagery became more em-p h a t i c i n ' i t s ".transference to' a l a r g e , -(256.8 x 378.4 cm.), h e a v i l y - i m p a s t o e d o i l p a i n t i n g . 1 7 In the p a i n t i n g a l l but a few remnants of the t r a d i t i o n a l theme have been o m i t t e d t o 105 make way f o r the more p r o b l e m a t i c themes t h a t concerned the a r t i s t . The v i e w e r i s p o s i t i o n e d j u s t above and i n f r o n t of a s e e m i n g l y e n d l e s s c i t y s t r e e t t h a t moves, almost w i t h o u t t r a n -s i t i o n , from a broad f o r e g r o u n d i n t o a deep background space. The r e s u l t of t h i s c o m p o s i t i o n a l arrangement i s such t h a t the f o r e g r o u n d scene c o m p l e t e l y dominates the p i c t u r e . The c i t y s t r e e t i s c o n g e s t e d by throngs of people who l i n e the s t r e e t and l e a n out from windows and b a l c o n i e s . The f o c u s of the p a i n t i n g i s a f e s t i v a l p r o c e s s i o n w h e r e i n c a v a l c a d e s of f i g -u r e s accompany C h r i s t a l o n g the broad b o u l e v a r d . P e o p l e i n s t r e e t c l o t h i n g are i n t e r s p e r s e d among a predominance of f i g -u r e s masked and costumed i n e n d l e s s v a r i a t i o n . A p l a t f o r m i s , a g a i n , a dominant f i x t u r e of the r i g h t f o r e g r o u n d . The clown f i g u r e s t h a t appeared i n the p r e l i m i n a r y s k e t c h a r e , i n t h i s work, j o i n e d by a c i t y o f f i c i a l . T o g e ther, they s u r v e y the crowd below them. In the extreme f o r e g r o u n d , a b i s h o p , w e a r i n g a m i t r e , c l o t h e d i n r e d and c a r r y i n g a s c e p t r e heads the c o r t e g e . Behind him i s a crowd of f i g u r e s , most of them w e a r i n g masks a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the B e l g i a n kermesse. Some peopl e are mask-l e s s and i n s t r e e t c l o t h i n g . T h i s group i s f o l l o w e d by a marching band t h a t i s l e d by a drum major. D i r e c t l y b e h i n d the band, C h r i s t , who bears a vague resemblance t o Ensor, i s almost obscured by the crowd. Beyond the f i g u r e of C h r i s t , 106 the s t r e e t i s f i l l e d w i t h c o u n t l e s s i n d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e f i g u r e s . The a i r above the crowds i s f i l l e d w i t h f l a g s of a l l t y p e s and banners c a r r y i n g p o p u l a r s l o g a n s . D i r e c t l y above C h r i s t a r e d banner s t r e t c h e s a c r o s s the s t r e e t , p r o c l a i m i n g " V i v e l a S o c i a l e . " V a r i o u s o t h e r banners and p l a c a r d s c a r r y s l o g a n s - - a p l a c a r d r e a d i n g " F a n f a r e s d o c t r i n a i r e s t o u j o u r s r e u s s i , " i s borne by one of the band members. T h i s s l o g a n may be a p l a y on words, a common p r a c t i c e of E n s o r ' s . "Fan-f a r e s , " c o u l d r e f e r t o the b r a s s band i t s e l f , but when c o u p l e d w i t h the term " d o c t r i n a i r e , " i t may a l s o suggest " t r u m p e t i n g f o r t h " . When added t o the words " t o u j o u r s r e u s s i , " i t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t Ensor i s making a r e f e r e n c e t o the r h e t o r i c of the c o n s e r v a t i v e f a c t i o n s of Belgium's two major p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s . A c r o s s l o c a t e d a t the top of the p l a c a r d may suggest t h a t he i s r e f e r r i n g s p e c i f i c a l l y t o the C a t h o l i c p a r t y , s i n c e the p r o c e s s i o n i s a l s o l e d by a b i s h o p . Other s l o g a n s i n c l u d e , "XX," and "Vive J e s u s r o i de B r u x l l e s " ( s i c ) . In t he c e n t r e l e f t of the p a i n t i n g t h r e e or f o u r banners appear t o have had t h e i r s l o g a n s p a i n t e d o v e r . I n an e t c h i n g done by Ensor i n 1898 based on t h i s p a i n t i n g , t h e s e banners bear s l o g a n s . 1 8 The most s i g n i f i c a n t of thes e phrases t h a t Ensor l a t e r removed was w r i t t e n on a p l a c a r d c a r r i e d by a man j u s t t o the l e f t of the b i s h o p . In the 1898 e t c h i n g i t reads " V i v e Ans-e e l e e t J e s u s . " The presence of t h i s s l o g a n i n the 1888 107 p a i n t i n g was mentioned by Emile' Verhaeren i n h i s monograph on Ensor from 1 9 0 8 . i 9 Ensor's use of the name of Edouard A n s e e l e , (1856-1938), l e a d e r of the w o r k i n g c l a s s and d i r e c t o r of the l a r g e workers' c o o p e r a t i v e , V o o r u i t at Ghent, would have been the same as waving a r e d f l a g i n f r o n t of the eyes of the B r u s s e l s b o u r g e o i s i e . Given A n s e e le's r e p u t a t i o n as a c r i t i c of the B e l g i a n government and a g i t a t o r f o r s o c i a l r e f o r m , i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g t h a t Maus and P i c a r d would have wanted t o a v o i d any p o s s i b l e a s s o c i a t i o n s w i t h him. H i s name was synonymous w i t h anarchism and s u b v e r s i o n . In 1886, f o r example, d u r i n g a p e r i o d of i n t e n s e c o n f r o n t a t i o n between workers and m i l i t i a , A nseele was a r r e s t e d and charged w i t h i n c i t i n g r i o t s and m a l i g n i n g the K i n g , whom he c a l l e d , "the a s s a s s i n of the people."20 He was t r i e d and se n t e n c e d t o p r i s o n , which o n l y s e r v e d to f u e l h i s p o p u l a r i t y w i t h the wor k e r s . The degree of h i s importance d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d to the wor k e r s ' movement i s suggested by L o u i s B e r t r a n d ' s r e c o l l e c t i o n of h i s r e l e a s e from p r i s o n i n the f o l l o w i n g y e a r . His d e p a r t u r e from p r i s o n took p l a c e at the b e g i n n i n g of F e b r u a r y . The Ghent s o c i a l i s t s d e c i d e d t o o r g a n i z e a d e m o n s t r a t i o n of sympathy i n honour of A n s e e l e f o r the o c c a s i o n ; but L i p p e n s , the l i b e r a l burgomaster, i s s u e d a de c r e e f o r b i d d i n g a l l p u b l i c d e m o n s t r a t i o n s on t h a t day.21 But, as B e r t r a n d r e c a l l s , the e d i c t from the burgomaster d i d not p r e v e n t the workers from g a t h e r i n g at the p r i s o n t o g r e e t 108 t h e i r l e a d e r . Anseele l e f t the p r i s o n on Sunday, Fe b r u a r y 6, 1887 at s i x o ' c l o c k i n the morning. At t e n o ' c l o c k a g r e a t dem-o n s t r a t i o n took p l a c e i n c e l e b r a t i o n of t h i s event at the new l o c a l of V o o r u i t on the rue des C h a r t r e u x . In s p i t e of the ban of the p r o j e c t e d d e m o n s t r a t i o n , t h e r e were h a r d l y any i n c i d e n t s , except t h a t i n the morning, around e l e v e n o ' c l o c k , two workers c l i m b e d to the top of the b e l f r y and hung a r e d f l a g t h a t remained t h e r e f o r almost an hour!22 A n s e e l e , g i v e n h i s p o p u l a r i t y w i t h the w o r k e r s , would have s y m b o l i z e d a l l the f e a r s of anarchy and upheaval t h a t Les  V i n g t ' s spokesmen wished t o s u p p r e s s , w h i l e Ensor, i n d e f i a n c e , had g i v e n him a p r i n c i p a l r o l e i n h i s a p o c a l -y p t i c v i s i o n of C h r i s t ' s a r r i v a l i n B r u s s e l s . I f Maus and P i c a r d would have been t h r e a t e n e d t o show Ensor's work because of i t s r e f e r e n c e t o Anseele and the s o c i a l i s t movement, they would a l s o have found i t d i f f i c u l t t o hang the work because of the way i t was p a i n t e d . In c o n t r a s t t o the d i v i s i o n i s t e n t r i e s , which were s c r u p u l o u s l y c o n s t r u c t e d c o m p o s i t i o n s l a b o u r i o u s l y p a i n t e d i n c o n t r o l l e d brushwork and l u m i n e s c e n t c o l o u r s , Ensor's f o r e b o d i n g v i s i o n was evoked through rough, crude brushwork and e x p r e s s i o n -i s t i c use of s t r o n g , a c r i d c o l o u r . E n s or's s p e c i f i c i d e o l o g y a l s o s u r f a c e s i n v a r i o u s o t h e r a s p e c t s of the p a i n t i n g . W a l t e r V a n b e s e l a e r e , i n h i s monograph on the work, makes s p e c i a l r e f e r e n c e t o one of the f i g u r e s who i s robed i n y e l l o w , wears a t a l l p o i n t e d hat and b e a r s a vague l i k e n e s s t o Ensor, w i t h h i s 109 l o n g h a i r and b e a r d . l i C a r r y i n g a baton i n h i s r i g h t hand and s i t u a t e d somewhat above the f o r e g r o u n d crowd t o the l e f t , j u s t beneath the f l u r r y of banners, he appears t o beckon the crowd f o r w a r d . V a n b e s e l a e r e r e f e r s t o t h i s f i g u r e as a " t r a v e s t i " who w i t h h i s baton r e p r e s e n t s the M e p h i s t o p h i l e a n c o u n t e r p a r t t o the f i g u r e of C h r i s t . 2 4 T h i s may su g g e s t , t h e n , t h a t Ensor saw h i m s e l f , i n the r o l e of the a r t i s t , as embodying these two opposing f o r c e s : the C h r i s t / A n t i c h r i s t . B r u s s e l s , s p i r i t u a l c e n t r e of M o d e r n i t y , g r e e t s i t s s a v i o u r , as w e l l as the d e v i l , who r e p r e s e n t s the d a r k e r s i d e of t h i s new r e a l i t y . I f Ensor saw h i m s e l f as the h e r a l d of t h i s d a r k e r s i d e of m o d e r n i t y , h i s p o s i t i o n i n the p a i n t i n g o f f e r s a second c l u e t o the meaning of t h i s image. D i r e c t l y above the p o i n t of h i s h a t , p r i n t e d i n r e d l e t t e r s on a green b a l c o n y , are the l e t t e r s "XX 1, r e f e r r i n g t o h i s avant-garde group. On one s i d e of the emblem a person i s d e f e c a t i n g over the b a l c o n y , on the o t h e r s i d e another f i g u r e i s v o m i t i n g . These images, drawn from F l e m i s h s o u r c e s , are p r e v a l e n t i n the works b e l o n g i n g t o t h i s p a r t i c u l a r s t y l e of Ensor's and can be i n t e r p r e t e d as a c t s of d e f i a n c e and c e n s u r e . In the h i g h l y charged scene of The S t r i k e , f o r example, s c a t o l o g i c a l and obscene images are a l s o p r e s e n t and p r o b a b l y r e l a t e t o Ensor's s e n t i m e n t s c o n c e r n i n g the i n c i d e n t . T h e i r presence i n t h i s l a t e r c o n t e x t makes an o b v i o u s r e f e r e n c e t o h i s 110 f e e l i n g s of p e r s o n a l b e t r a y a l and h i s d i s a p p r o v a l of h i s c o l l e a g u e s ' c a p i t u l a t i o n to French i n f l u e n c e s . The c o n f l a t i o n of the " J o y f u l E n t r y " w i t h the elements of contemporary s i g n i f i c a n c e , s p e c i f i c a l l y , the s t r e e t f e s -t i v a l and s o c i a l i s t banners i s a l s o an i n t e g r a l p a r t of Ensor's v i e w p o i n t . The concept of t h e - " T r i u m p h a l ^ E n t r y " was m e s s i a n i c i n b o t h pagan and C h r i s t i a n imagery. I t was a l s o a s s o c i a t e d w i t h i d e a s of d i v i n i t y and v i c t o r y . The r i t -u a l of the " E n t r y " was p a r t of the c e l e b r a t i o n which marked the a r r i v a l of an i m p o r t a n t k i n g or b i s h o p i n t o a c i t y . 2 5 But because EnsOr's " E n t r y " i s s e t i n the p r e s e n t , i n h i s own c i t y , i t would seem t o r e p r e s e n t a p r e f i g u r a t i o n of the "Second Coming" of C h r i s t . 2 6 H i s p a i n t i n g , t h e r e f o r e , o f f e r -ed a f a r l e s s than o p t i m i s t i c view of h i s contemporary w o r l d i n c o n t r a s t t o the d i v i s i o n i s t ' s v e r s i o n of modernity.27 Furthermore, Ensor's use of t h i s p r e f i g u r a t i o n w i t h i t s spe-c i f i c a l i g n m e n t t o p r e s e n t - d a y B r u s s e l s brought a s t r o n g e r modern emphasis t o h i s F l e m i s h imagery. Ensor has used the m o t i f of the s t r e e t f e s t i v a l as an emblem of the c o n f l i c t s i n h e r e n t i n the r e s h a p i n g of s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e s and v a l u e s . In the f a c e of the massive i n d u s t r i -a l i z a t i o n and u r b a n i z a t i o n t h a t took p l a c e d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d , the c a r n i v a l s and masks were s t r i p p e d of t h e i r a r c h e t y p a l meanings, and took on the c h a r a c t e r of commercial endeavours.28 Here, the c a r n i v a l has become Ensor's emblem of the d i s s o l u t i o n I l l of t r a d i t i o n a l v a l u e s, an i n e x t r i c a b l e part of modernity. For Maus and P i c a r d , C h r i s t ' s Entry i n t o B r u s s e l s i n  1889 would have represented, with good reason, a s e r i o u s t h r e a t . The p a i n t i n g was embedded with images and symbols which would have had tremendous v i s u a l and emotional impact on i t s viewing audience. The r e a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h i s v i s u a l i d e o l o g y , however, only becomes f u l l y apparent when i t i s viewed i n comparison with the work which i n s p i r e d i t , a l b e i t i n a negative way. Painted j u s t two years apart, Ensor's C h r i s t ' s Entry and Seurat's Grande J a t t e o f f e r e d the B r u s s e l s viewing p u b l i c two c o n t r a d i c t o r y views of modernity. I t i s g e n e r a l l y accepted that Ensor began h i s l a r g e p a i n t i n g as a d i r e c t response to viewing La_ Grande J a t t e i n 1887. Even i f t h i s were not the case, a comparison r e v e a l s the ways i n which Ensor's imagery opposed and threatened the d i v i s i o n i s t s ' i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the modern world and the avant-garde i d e n t i t y t h a t was d e t e r -mined by that i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Ensor's u n s e t t l i n g v i s i o n of modernity, mixing myth with f a c t , past with present, r e l i g i o n with p o l i t i c s , i n a c t u a l i t y came dangerously c l o s e to a true d e p i c t i o n of Belgium's r e a l i t y . Maus and P i c a r d had s o l d La_ Grande J a t t e as the model of the Utopian v i s i o n . They d e s c r i b e d how c o l o u r s and forms were l a b o u r i o u s l y balanced and r e s t r a i n e d . F i g u r e s and forms were set i n a v i s u a l l y - o r d e r e d , coherent, space, and the o v e r a l l 112 ambience was one of harmony and calm. J u s t as s t r o n g l y , a s they condemned Ensor f o r r i d i c u l i n g h i s contemporary w o r l d , they g l o r i f i e d S e u r a t f o r i d e a l i z i n g i t . The muted l u m i n -e s c e n t c o l o u r s of the p o i n t i l l i s t t e c h n i q u e gave a hazy, t i m e l e s s q u a l i t y t o t h i s scene of modern l e i s u r e l i f e . In S e u r a t 1 s modern w o r l d a l l c l a s s e s of people e x i s t e d t o g e t h e r , s e p a r a t e , but i n o r d e r e d harmony, w i t h o u t s i g n of c o n f l i c t or d i s s e n t . On the o t h e r hand, Ensor's d i s r u p t i v e scene of the Flem-i s h c a r n i v a l , w i t h i t s q u a l i t i e s of c o n f u s i o n and a l i e n a t i o n was the symbol he chose to r e v e a l the paradox of m o d e r n i t y . I t went beyond a n e g a t i o n of S e u r a t ' s image of French l e i s u r e l i f e , however, t o become a commentary on Les V i n g t ' s a d o p t i o n of d i v i s i o n i s m as a s u b m i s s i o n to Maus and P i c a r d ' s campaign to g a i n the p u b l i c ' s a p p r o v a l . F o r , i f Ensor's F l e m i s h n e s s was a n t i - F r e n c h , i t was a l s o , of n e c e s s i t y , a n t i - b o u r g e o i s , e s p e c i a l l y i f i t were t o be e x h i b i t e d i n B r u s s e l s , b a s t i o n of French c u l t u r e . A c c o r d i n g l y , L ' A r t Moderne's a t t a c k s on E n sor's Flem-i s h n e s s - - h i s " p u e r i l e f a n t a s i e s " and " i n e x a c t i t u d e s of v i s i o n " - - s i g n i f i e d an a l i g nment w i t h the v a l u e s of the B r u s -s e l s b o u r g e o i s i e . The e d i t o r ' s c r i t i c i s m s were aimed not o n l y at the q u a l i t y of Ensor's a r t but the i d e o l o g y t h a t h i s a r t r e p r e s e n t e d i n r e g a r d t o the r e d e f i n e d avant-garde o r g a n i z -a t i o n . As Maus and P i c a r d s t r u g g l e d t o r e s o l v e t h e i r p r a c t i c a l 113 g o a l s f o r the group w i t h the i d e o l o g i c a l s t r u c t u r e of avant-g a r d i s m , Ensor's p r o v o c a t i v e images and h i s r e p u t a t i o n as an a n a r c h i s t i n c r e a s i n g l y t h r e a t e n e d t o undermine t h e i r e f f o r t s . In t h i s s i t u a t i o n E n sor's a e s t h e t i c was t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o a s t r a t e g y of a c t i o n t h a t c o l l i d e d w i t h the v e r y framework of a v a n t - g a r d i s m t h a t o r i g i n a l l y was t o a l l o w f o r the p o s s i b i l i t y of i t s e x p r e s s i o n . Indeed, the image of C h r i s t ' s E n t r y i n t o  B r u s s e l s would have d e s t r o y e d the c o h e s i v e appearance of the group, r i p p e d away the f a l s e mask of i t s p u b l i c image and negated the U t o p i a n v i s i o n of the d i v i s i o n i s t s ' modern w o r l d . T h i s , however, d i d not happen. The e x h i b i t i o n of 1889 was s u c c e s s f u l f o r the V i n g t i s t e s because L ' A r t Moderne's j o u r n a l i s t i c t a c t i c s c r e a t e d a c l i m a t e which c o u l d t r a n s f o r m Neo-Impressionism i n t o t h e i r own i n d i g -enous, d e p o l i t i c i z e d f o r m u l a t i o n based upon a c o l l e c t i v e U t o p -i a n o u t l o o k , and w i t h o u t the t h r e a t of Ensor's dangerous p a i n t -i n g . The V i n g t i s t e s ' s u b m i s s i o n s f o r t h i s e x h i b i t i o n i n d i c a t e t h e i r dependency on t h e i r French models, i n terms of comp-o s i t i o n and t e c h n i q u e , i n these e a r l y d i v i s i o n i s t works.29 For the most p a r t , they adapted d i v i s i o n i s t brushwork and c o l -our t h e o r y t o the s u b j e c t s they had i n h e r i t e d from t h e i r ante-c e d e n t s . For example, H e n r i Van de V e l d e ' s d i v i s i o n i s t work, Woman at the Window, 1889 ( f i g u r e 6 ) , c l o s e l y f o l l o w s the s u b j e c t and format of H e n r i de B r a e k e l e e r ' s T e n i e r s Square i n Antwerp, 1878.30 Both of these works share a s i m i l a r 114 p i c t o r i a l c o n s t r u c t i o n and a p o e t i c , i n t i m a t e t r e a t m e n t of t h e i r s u b j e c t . I n both c a s e s , a woman w i t h her back t o the viewer s i t s at a window, l o o k i n g out i n t o a q u i e t , empty s t r e e t . Van de V e l d e , whose image h a r k s back t o a l e s s t u r -b u l e n t p e r i o d i n Belgium, has s i m p l y reduced and s i m p l i f i e d the p i c t o r i a l elements of de B r a e k e l e e r ' s p a i n t i n g and r e -worked the image u s i n g d i v i s i o n i s t brushwork and c o l o u r . The v i s i o n he p r e s e n t s i s one of s o l i t u d e , t r a n q u i l l i t y and o r d e r - -emblems of the B e l g i a n d i v i s i o n i s t s 1 Utopian w o r l d . As w e l l as r e m a i n i n g r o o t e d t o t h i s more p e a c e f u l p a s t , Van de Velde's view through the window, by v i r t u e of i t s e x e c u t i o n , belongs a l s o t o the p r e s e n t . But, i t i s a p r e s e n t w i t h o u t c o n f l i c t and u p h e a v a l , t h a t i s s t r i c t l y d e f i n e d by an a e s t h e t i c t h a t i s Fr e n c h , d i v i s i o n i s t and b o u r g e o i s . Other V i n g t i s t e s who had worked p r i m a r i l y i n l a n d s c a p e s and s e a s c a p e s , such as W i l l y F i n c h , c o n t i n u e d t o do so u s i n g the new d i v i s i o n i s t t e c h n i q u e of p a i n t i n g , - ( s e e f i g u r e 7).31 These e a r l y works are h i g h l y t r a d i t i o n a l i n t h e m e — f o r m a l p o r t r a i t s , l a n d s c a p e s , seascapes and b o u r g e o i s i n t e r i o r s . In t h e s e , women are d e p i c t e d sewing, r e a d i n g or p l a y i n g music. These p a i n t i n g s a l s o share the same sense of o r d e r , s e r e n i t y and t i m e l e s s n e s s of S e u r a t ' s La Grande J a t t e and Van de Velde's Woman a t the Window. D i v i s i o n i s m , i n d e e d , had f i n a l l y taken on i t s own B e l g i a n i d e n t i t y . 3 2 From t h i s e x a m i n a t i o n of d i v i s i o n i s m ' s s u c c e s s f u l i n t r o -115 d u c t i o n i n t o B e l g i u m , t h e r e are s e v e r a l c o n c l u s i o n s , both s p e c i f i c and g e n e r a l , t h a t can f i n a l l y be drawn. H e r e t o f o r e , s c h o l a r s have judged Les V i n g t by i t s own d i s c o u r s e and, as has been shown, t h a t language was a c t u a l l y based upon a g r e a t many myths and i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s . E x p l o r i n g how and why d i v i s -i o n i s m became a p a r t of the group's a r t i s t i c programme has d i s c l o s e d the c o n t r a d i c t i o n s and c a e s u r a s between group i d e n - ' t i t y and group a c t i o n , between the myths and r e a l i t i e s t h a t b e l o n g t o the phenomenon t h a t i s c a l l e d the "avant-garde." T h i s a n a l y s i s has been an attempt t o l o o k b e h i n d t h i s group's s e l f - s t y l e d i d e n t i t y and t o a s s e s s Les V i n g t ' s a c t u a l r o l e w i t h i n i t s p a r t i c u l a r p e r i o d . But a l t h o u g h t h i s e x a m i n a t i o n has been r e s t r i c t e d t o the s p e c i f i c h i s t o r i c a l framework of the l a t e 1880's i n Belgium, i t e l u c i d a t e s the ways i n which the g e n e r a l n o t i o n of a v a n t - g a r d i s m i s m i s l e a d i n g and prob-l e m a t i c , b o t h i n i t s use as a s e l f - p r o c l a i m e d i d e n t i t y by a group of a r t i s t s and i n i t s use by a r t h i s t o r i a n s and c r i t i c s as a l a b e l t o d e s c r i b e the a c t i v i t i e s of a p a r t i c u l a r a r t -i s t i c group. As has been s u g g e s t e d , t h i s s o - c a l l e d "avant-garde" o p e r a t e d by i t s own s e t of p r i n c i p l e s . I t r e d e f i n e d the p a s t and i n v e n t e d the f u t u r e , c r e a t e d i t s own myths about i t s e l f and i n i t i a l l y drew i t s v i t a l i t y from a p a r t i c u l a r p o l i t i c a l , and o f t e n a n t a g o n i s t i c , v o c a b u l a r y t o d e f i n e i t s e l f and defend i t s a c t i v i t i e s . I t c r e a t e d a p r i o r i 116 c o n c e p t s out of the i d e a s of "modernity" and the "new" and made a c u l t of the v a l u e s of i n d i v i d u a l i s m and freedom. Rather than w i t h d r a w i n g from the s o c i e t y towards which i t s antagonism' was d i r e c t e d , i t t r i e d and succeeded i n a c h i e v i n g a p r i v i l e g e d p l a c e w i t h i n i t . I n p u r s u i t of t h a t g o a l a v a n t - g a r d i s m became a p o s t u r e and a s t r a t e g y which c o u l d be a l t e r e d or m a n i p u l a t e d t o adapt t o the group's changing r e q u i r e m e n t s . The deep c o n f l i c t between Ensor's imagery and t h a t of the d i v i s i o n i s t s a r t i c u l a t e d the b a s i c s t r u g g l e on the p a r t of Maus and P i c a r d t o m a i n t a i n the d e l i c a t e b a l a n c e they had a c h i e v e d between the p o s t u r e of "a v a n t - g a r d i s m " and t h e i r p r a c t i c a l g o a l s . By 1887 Maus and P i c a r d had begun t o reshape the V i n g t i s t e s ' i d e n t i t y i n a way t h a t made a break w i t h a l l the group's p r e v i o u s a f f i l i a t i o n s w i t h the wor k e r s ' movement and the d o c t r i n e of " l ' a r t s o c i a l . " Ensor's F l e m i s h imagery, however, p i e r c e d through the myths of i t s f a l s e i d e n t i t y and c h a l l e n g e d the f o r f e i t u r e of i t s o r i g i n a l i d e a l s . H is a r t was a c o n s t a n t reminder of those c o n f l i c t s and i s s u e s from which Les V i n g t , t h rough Maus and P i c a r d ' s e f f o r t , had d i v -o r c e d i t s e l f . The o r g a n i z a t i o n , i n f a c t , had become the v e h i c l e f o r Maus and P i c a r d t o e s t a b l i s h a r e p u t a t i o n a t home and abroad as Belgium's a r t i s t i c l e a d e r s . Maus and P i c a r d ' s p e r s o n a l campaign h i n g e d on t h e i r s u c c e s s f u l i n t r o d u c t i o n of Neo-Impressionism i n t o Belgium. I t s e r v e d as a s h i e l d a g a i n s t a c c u s a t i o n s t h a t Les V i n g t 117 was a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the t h r e a t of s o c i a l i n s u r r e c t i o n . The a r t s t y l e a l s o became the b a s i s of the group's new i d e n t i t y . That i d e n t i t y s t o o d f o r a p r e f e r e n c e f o r French c u l t u r e and, i n t u r n , s a t i s f i e d two i m p o r t a n t demands i n Maus and P i c a r d ' s c a m p a i g n — a c c e p t a n c e by the B r u s s e l s b o u r g e o i s i e and a f f i l i a -t i o n w i t h an i n t e r n a t i o n a l vanguard. From the d i v i s i o n i s t a e s t h e t i c Maus and P i c a r d shaped an avant-garde image f o r Les V i n g t t h a t was both modern and y e t removed from the s o c i a l s t r i f e t h a t dominated the B e l g i a n c o n s c i o u s n e s s d u r i n g t h i s t i m e . I t was a c c e p t a b l e t o the v i e w i n g p u b l i c because of i t s French o r i g i n s , y e t i t was a l s o c o n t r o v e r s i a l and :"new:" In e f f e c t , d i v i s i o n i s m l e g i t -i m i z e d Maus and P i c a r d ' s avant-garde and s e r v e d as a s o c i a l a n e s t h e t i c f o r i t s v i e w i n g a u d i e n c e . In an attempt t o e s t a b l i s h themselves as the l e a d e r s of Belgium's a r t i s t i c vanguard, L ' A r t Moderne's e d i t o r s had o r i g i n a l l y based t h e i r m o t i v a t i o n s on the group's commitment to e g a l i t a r i a n i s m and i n d i v i d u a l freedom f o r a l l i t s members. The group's e v e n t u a l a p p r o p r i a t i o n of d i v i s i o n i s m r e p r e s e n t e d the a b r o g a t i o n of those i d e a l s as i s e v i d e n c e d so c l e a r l y i n i t s d e a l i n g s w i t h E n s o r — t h e one member of the group whose a r t so a g g r e s s i v e l y c h a l l e n g e d t h i s new i d e n t i t y and made a mockery of the d i v i s i o n i s t s ' v i s i o n of modernity and U t o p i a n i d e a l s . N o n e t h e l e s s , by the e x h i b i t i o n of 1889 Les V i n g t had been e s t a b l i s h e d as the most i m p o r t a n t group of a r t i s t i c l u m i n -118 a r i e s i n Belgium, w i t h Maus and P i c a r d as t h e i r s p i r i t u a l l e a d e r s . 3 3 And so the myth of the avant-garde had taken r o o t and f l o u r i s h e d under the d i r e c t i o n of L ' A r t Moderne. Though Les V i n g t had not y e t won the unanimous s u p p o r t of the B r u s s e l s b o u r g e o i s i e , Maus and P i c a r d had succeeded i n c o n v i n c i n g the p u b l i c t h a t the group was Belgium's i n d i s p u t -a b l e vanguard i n the cause of modern a r t . 119 FOOTNOTES - CHAPTER FOUR W i l l y F i n c h was s t i l l w o r k i n g i n the d i v i s i o n i s t s t y l e d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d , but d i d not e x h i b i t i n the 1889 e x h i b i t i o n . H e n r i Van de V e l d e , who became a member of Les V i n g t i n 1889, had a l r e a d y been e x p e r i m e n t i n g w i t h d i v i s i o n i s m s i n c e he had seen S e u r a t 1 s work at the 1887 e x h i b i t i o n of Les V i n g t . He e x h i b i t e d d i v i s i o n i s t works at the 1889 e x h i b i t i o n . 2 Octave Maus, i n t r o d u c t i o n t o C a t a l o g u e de l a VI e x p o s i t i o n a n n u e l l e des XX ( B r u x e l l e s : 1889): p. 5. 3 I b i d . , p. 7. 4 I b i d . , p. 8 . ^See Canning, p. 217. ^ F r a n c i s N a u t e t , "Chronique a r t i s t i q u e , " La  B e l g i q u e ( F e b r u a r y 10, 1889), c i t e d by Canning, p. 217. T h i s same a r t i c l e a l s o appeared i n the C a t h o l i c paper, Le J o u r n a l de B r u x e l l e s on February 11. 1889. I t i s i n t e r -e s t i n g t h a t such a f a v o u r a b l e r e v i e w would have been p r i n t -ed i n t h i s c o n s e r v a t i v e paper, one which L ' E t o i l e B e i g e r e f e r r e d t o as the " o f f i c i a l newspaper of the government." 7 Georges Ve r d a v a i n n e , "Les e v o l u t i o n n i s t e s — 1 ' e x p o s i t i o n des XX," L_a F e d e r a t i o n A r t i s t i q u e ( F e b r u a r y 9, 1889): 123. g F r a n c i s N a u t e t , "Chronique A r t i s t i q u e , " J o u r n a l de B r u x e l l e s F ebruary 11, 1889. 9 Ve r d a v a i n n e , "Les e v o l u t i o n n i s t e s , " p. 124. 10 T, . , I b i d . "'""'"For a r e p r o d u c t i o n of t h i s work, see Farmer, p l a t e 12 N a u t e t , "Chronique a r t i s t i q u e . " I b i d . 120 "Aux XX," L ' A r t Moderne IX ( F e b r u a r y 24, 1889): 57. 15 There are at l e a s t two u n s u b s t a n t i a t e d r e f e r e n c e s to an attempt by Les V i n g t t o e x p e l Ensor from the group because of t h i s p a i n t i n g . G r e g o i r e Le Roy, i n James Ensor ( B r u x e l l e s : G. Van Oest e t C i e , 1922), p. 35, w r i t e s "Au s e i n meme de ce c e r c l e se monta, peu-a-peu, c o n t r e l u i , une o p p o s i t i o n q u i s'accentua a mesure que g r a n d i r e n t ses audaces. L'annee ou i l envoya l e Foudroiement des Anges  R e b e l l e s e t L' E n t r e e du C h r i s t a_ B r u x e l l e s , ce f u t une c a b a l e . On e x i g e a son e x p u l s i o n . On l u i r e p r o a c h a i t d ' a t t i r e r s u r l e s XX l e s f o u d r e s o f f i c i e l l e s e t i l f a l l u t 1 1 i n t e r v e n t i o n du d i r e c t e u r des Beaux-Arts d ' a l o r s pour c a l m e r , d i s a i t - o n , l e s e x p u l s e r des l o c a u x ou se t e n a i e n t l e u r s e x p o s i t i o n s . " P a u l H a e r s e r t s i n James Ensor, t r a n s , N o r b e r t Guterman (New York: Harry N. Abrams, I n c . , 1959), pp. 92-93, d e s c r i b e s t h i s event: " I n 1888, every one of h i s e n t r i e s was r e j e c t e d . When he s u b m i t t e d h i s F a l l of the  R e b e l l i o u s Angels . . . and The E n t r y of C h r i s t i n t o B r u s s e l s . . . c r i t i c i s m changed t o open h o s t i l i t y . The s c u l p t o r A c h i l l e Chainaye d e c l a r e d t h a t he would r e s i g n from the group i f Ensor remained. The q u e s t i o n was put t o the v o t e . Two b a l l o t s were t a k e n , and Ensor b a r e l y escaped e x p u l s i o n , thanks o n l y t o h i s own v o t e . " However, Chainaye had a l r e a d y l e f t the group, on a m i c a b l e terms i n 1888, so t h a t he c o u l d devote h i m s e l f f u l l time t o w r i t i n g . A l s o , he was one of Ensor's s u p p o r t e r s . He f e l t t h a t Ensor's work remained t r u e t o h i s F l e m i s h h e r i t a g e . I f t h e r e was such an i n c i d e n t , I have not found any p r i m a r y source m a t e r i a l t h a t c o r r o b o r a t e s t h i s . B l o c k , pp. 87-88 c o n c u r s w i t h t h i s o p i n i o n . 16 For a r e p r o d u c t i o n of t h i s drawing see Theodor K i e f e r , James Ensor ( A u r e l Bongers R e c k l i n g h a u s e n , 1976), p. 94. 17 Legrand, i n Cet Inconnu, pp. 69-70, p r e s e n t s us w i t h the c o n s e r v a t o r ' s r e p o r t on the p a i n t i n g b e f o r e i t was c l e a n e d i n 1950. T h i s group of s l o g a n s t h a t were removed from the banners a t the c e n t r e l e f t of the p a i n t i n g are s i m i l a r t o t h o s e from the 1885 drawing C h r i s t ' s E n t r y i n t o J e r u s a l e m : eg., "Les C h a r c u t i e r s de J e r u s a l e m , " "La Samarie Recon-n a i s s a n t e , " and "Phalange Wagner F r a c a s s a n t . " E m i l e Verhaeren, James Ensor ( B r u x e l l e s : G. Van Oest and C i e , 1980), p. 45. 121 20 L o u i s B e r t r a n d , Edouard A n s e e l e : sa v i e - - s a oeuvre ( B r u x e l l e s : L ' E g l a n t i n e , 1925), p. 54. 2 1 I b i d . , p. 74. 2 2 I b i d . , pp. 77-78. 23 V a n b e s a l a e r e , p. 29. 24 T. ., I b i d . 25 E r n s t K a n t o r o w i c z , "The K i n g ' s Advent," The A r t B u l l e t i n XXVI -(December 1944): 211. K a n t o r o w i c z p r e s e n t s a thorough e x p l a n a t i o n of the h i s t o r y and i c o n o g r a p h y a s s o c -i a t e d w i t h the "Triumphal E n t r y . " 2 6 K a n t o r o w i c z d i s c u s s e s t h i s a s p e c t of the " J o y f u l E n t r y . " T h i s a s p e c t of the work i s a l s o d i s c u s s e d i n an a r t i c l e by Diane Lesko, i n "Ensor i n h i s M i l i e u , " A r t -forum 15 (May 1977): 57. She r e l a t e s Ensor's p a i n t i n g s t o the B a l z a c s t o r y , "Jesus i n F l a n d e r s . " The s t o r y i s about the Second Coming of C h r i s t , who appears on the beaches of Ostend, r i g h t a f t e r the French R e v o l u t i o n of 1830. As Lesko s u g g e s t s , the s t o r y i s p r o b a b l y one of B a l z a c ' s most complete r e l i g i o u s s t a t e m e n t s , i n which he o u t l i n e s h i s a t t i t u d e toward the Church as an i n s t i t u t i o n . B a l z a c laments the l o s s of an age when the Church s t o o d f o r a r t , l e a r n i n g and i d e a l i s m . H i s symbol f o r the c o n d i -t i o n of the Church i n the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y i s a w i t h e r e d s p e c t e r , s k e l e t a l , h a i r l e s s and g r e e n i s h i n c o m p l e x i o n who r i s e s out of a cemetary. C e r t a i n l y , Ensor's p a i n t i n g c a r r i e s s i m i l a r commentaries r e g a r d i n g the Church and the s t a t e of r e l i g i o n i n h i s p e r i o d . Lesko s u g g e s t s o t h e r examples of Ensor's p a i n t i n g s t h a t may have a l s o been i n -s p i r e d by B a l z a c ' s w r i t i n g s . I t i s i m p o r t a n t t o n o t e , how-e v e r , t h a t E n sor's p a i n t i n g s can i n no way be c l a s s i f i e d as " l i t e r a r y . " Demolder, p. 23, a l s o mentions B a l z a c as one of Ensor's f a v o u r i t e a u t h o r s . 27 Ensor's placement of the "Second Coming" i n B r u s s e l s may have been made as a p o l i t i c a l commentary. See Clough, p. 124. B r u s s e l s was the s t r o n g - h o l d of the Walloon,. L i b e r a l b o u r g e o i s i e . A n t i - C a t h o l i c s e n t -iments-;: pr.eyaile.d;par_ti;Cui:ar.l"y;- since-, the: C a t h o l i c : p a r t y 122 and m a i n t a i n e d i t s power i n t h P a r l i a m e n t s i n c e 1884. With the appearance of a s t r o n g , u n i f i e d w o r k i n g c l a s s and the i n e v -i t a b i l i t y of u n i v e r s a l s u f f r a g e c l o s e at hand, b o t h p a r t i e s v i e d f o r the a l l e g i a n c e of the w o r k e r s . T h i s s e r v e d t o h e i g h t e n the a n i m o s i t y the L i b e r a l s f e l t f o r the C a t h o l i c s . S i n c e a l a r g e number of the w o r k i ng c l a s s were members of the C a t h o l i c Church, the p o s s i b i l i t y of many of them e x t e n d i n g t h a t a f f i l i a -t i o n t o the Church's p a r t y was a p o s s i b i l i t y the L i b e r a l s d i d not want t o f a c e . Although the " F l e m i s h I s s u e " was not a s t r i c t p a r t y i s s u e , the C a t h o l i c P a r t y became a s u p p o r t e r of F l e m i s h demands d u r i n g t h i s p a r t i c u l a r p e r i o d because they were aware t h a t the l a r g e l y - C a t h o l i c w o r k i n g c l a s s saw t h i s as an i m p o r t a n t i s s u e . As u n i v e r s a l s u f f r a g e came c l o s e r t o becoming a r e a l i t y , so d i d the C a t h o l i c P a r t y ' s s u p p o r t of w o r k i n g c l a s s i s s u e s i n -c r e a s e . 2 8 Georges Dumont, L a - v i e q u o t i d i e n n e en B e l g i q u e sous  l e regne de L e o p o l d I I ( B r u x e l l e s : H a c h e t t e , 1974), p. 181. 29 For an e x c e l l e n t survey of V i n g t i s t e s ' works t h a t b e l o n g t o t h i s s t y l e , see B e l g i a n A r t : 1880-1914, The B r o o k l y n Museum. 30 For a r e p r o d u c t i o n of t h i s work, see B e l g i a n A r t : 1880-1914. 31 T h i s work, The Racecourse at Ostend, 1888, was one o f F i n c h ' s e a r l i e s t . For a d i s c u s s i o n of the work and F i n c h ' s debt t o S e u r a t i n p a i n t i n g i t , see B e l g i a n A r t : 1880-1914, The B r o o k l y n Museum, p. 100. 32 For a d i s c u s s i o n of Les V i n g t ' s i n v o l v e m e n t w i t h Neo-I m p r e s s i o n i s m and examples of t h e i r works i n t h i s s t y l e , see a l s o , Jean S u t t e r , ed., The N e o - I m p r e s s i o n i s t s (Greenwich, C o n n e c t i c u t : New York Gr a p h i c S o c i e t y , L t d . , 1970). 33 L ' A r t Moderne r e p o r t e d i n 1890 t h a t a t t e n d a n c e at the B r u s s e l s S a l o n had d e c l i n e d by 43%, from 54,700 t o 31,000, w h i l e a t Les V i r i g t ' s s a l o n s , a t tendance had i n c r e a s e d by 45% d u r i n g the same p e r i o d , from 4,300 to 6,300. D u r i n g most of these e x h i b i t i o n s they made a p r o f i t from the s a l e of e n t r a n c e f e e s and many e x h i b i t o r s had s o l d works. .See, "Le s a l o n d e f u n c t , " L ' A r t Moderne XI (November 23, 1890): 369. 123 F i g u r e 1. Geogres Seurat Sunday A f t - ernoon on the I s l a n d of La Grande J a t t e , 1885. O i l on canvas, 190.0 x 283.0 cm., C o l l e c t i o n : A r t I n s t i t u t e of C h i c a g o , Helen Buch B a r t l e t t Memorial C o l l e c t i o n . 124 125 F i g u r e 3. James Ensor The Temp- t a t i o n of S t . Anthony, 1887. P e n c i l on paper, 170.0 x 150.0 cm. C o l l e c t -i o n : F r e d e r i c Speth, K a p e l l e n . 126 F i g u r e 4. James Ensor The S t r i k e , 1887. C o l o u r e d p e n c i l and w a t e r c o l o u r , 34.0 x 67.5 cm. C o l l e c t i o n : K o n i n k l i j k Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp. F i g u r e 5. James Ensor, C h r i s t ' s E n t r y i n t o B r u s s e l s i n 1889, 1888. O i l on can v a s , 256.8 x 378.4 cm., C o l l e c t i o n : L o u i s - F r a n c k , Esq., C.B.E., K o n i n K l i j k Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp. 128 F i g u r e 6. Henry Van de V e l d e , Woman at the Window, 1889. O i l on canvas, 111.0 x 125.0 cm., C o l l e c t -i o n : K o n i n k l i j k Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp. 129 F i g u r e 7. W i l l y F i n c h , The Racecourse at Os- tend , 1887. O i l on canvas, 49.5 x 59.0 cm. C o l -l e c t i o n : The A r t Museum of the Ateneum, H e l s i n k i . 130 BIBLIOGRAPHY i . Books - A r t B r a e t , Herman. L ' a c c u e i l f a i t s u r Symbolisme en B e l g i q u e . 1885-1900. B r u x e l l e s : P a l a i s des Academies, 1967. B l o c k , Jane. "Les XX and B e l g i a n Avant-Gardism, 1868-1894." ( V o l . I & I I ) Ph.D. d i s s e r t a t i o n , U n i v e r s i t y of Mich-i g a n , 1980. Canning, Susan M. "A H i s t o r y and C r i t i c a l Review of the Salons of 'Les V i n g t , ' 1884-1893." 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