The day that Christ comes to Brussels will be magnificent. There will be a huge parade. In fact, it will be a Mardi Gras parade. The streets will be in chaos. Costumed buffoons will march around, one woman in a blue cat suit. Death will show up, wearing a green and black top hat. Some people will carry banners with political slogans. Christ himself will ride a donkey and play it smooth. He is, after all, The Christ.

We know all of this because James Ensor painted it for us in 1888. He called the painting “Christ’s Entry into Brussels in 1889.” Unfortunately, it is one of the few major paintings not on view in MoMA’s current James Ensor show. That’s because the painting stayed in Los Angeles at the Getty Museum. It is too beat up to… More…