Grégoire Le Roy. James Ensor. Brussels, 1922, p. 195, as "Repas comique," 1918.
Libby Tannenbaum. James Ensor. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1951, pp. 117, 127, no. 60, ill.
Paul Haesaerts. James Ensor. New York, 1959, p. 318, no. 140, p. 382, no. 434, ill., as "Banquet of the Starved," about 1925.
Louise Averill Svendsen. Rousseau, Redon, and Fantasy. Exh. cat., Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. New York, 1968, unpaginated, ill. (color), dates it to 1925; notes the similarity to Ensor's compositions of the 1890s: "The Judges," "The Bad Doctors," and "The Dangerous Cooks"; identifies the standing figure at far right as a waiter and the figures in the left foreground as a starving mother and child; interprets the scene as a "fantastic parable of human folly"; notes the inclusion in the background of Ensor's painting "Skeletons Disputing a Herring" (1891) and two skeleton images, which she dates to 1903.
Mahonri Sharp Young. "Letter from U.S.A.: The Sports in the Arts." Apollo 88 (August 1968), p. 142.
Theodor Kiefer. Letter to the Curator of Modern European Paintings, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. May 27, 1974, dates it to 1915 and calls it "Repast of the Hungry Ones"; asserts that German artist Anton Kerschbaumer commissioned this work and two still lifes from Ensor during World War I; identifies the seated figure at center as Goethe and one of the figures to the right as Kerschbaumer, "who is trying to impress on him the requirements of the situation;" interprets the scene as an expression of Ensor's disdain for the Germans; states that he interviewed Erich Heckel and Mrs. [Anton] Kerschbaumer and that she sold the three pictures during World War II.
Theodor Kiefer. J. Ensor. Recklinghausen, 1976, pp. 122–23, no. 83, ill., dates the work to 1915 and states that Anton Kerschbaumer commissioned it along with two still lifes [probably Tricot 2009, nos. 491 and 497]; characterizes it as a critique of the German occupation of Belgium during World War I; compares the composition to depictions of the Last Supper; identifies the main figure as Goethe and the figure at far right in a suit as Kerschbaumer.
Gert Schiff. Images of Horror and Fantasy. Exh. cat., Bronx Museum of the Arts. Bronx, 1977, unpaginated.
Joshua Friedman in Changes in Perspective: 1880–1925. Exh. cat., Grey Art Gallery and Study Center, New York University. New York, 1978, p. 17, ill., interprets the work as a response to a serious food shortage in Belgium during World War I; identifies the figures around the table as a German general and his soldiers; calls it a "modern Last Supper".
Michael Lloyd et al. in 20th Century Masters from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Exh. cat., Australian National Gallery. Canberra, 1986, pp. 6, 8, 35, ill. (color), dates it 1915; describes the figures around the table as engaged in "vomiting, murder, seduction, and flattery".
Lydia Schoonbaert in James Ensor: Belgien um 1900. Exh. cat., Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung. Munich, 1989, pp. 142–43, no. 43, ill. (color).
Xavier Tricot. James Ensor: Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings. London, 1992, vol. 2, p. 485, no. 492, ill., dates it 1918; calls it "Le Banquet du Mourant (Le Repas des Maigres)," translated to English as "The Dying Man's Banquet (The Meal of the Lean)".
Francine-Claire Legrand. Ensor, la mort et la charme, un autre Ensor. Antwerp, 1993, pp. 27, 34–35, colorpl. 29, ill. p. 35, calls it "Le banquet des affamés" and "Le repas des maigres" and dates it 1915; identifies the central figure as a mask of Goethe; notes that the figure holding a rose recalls Ensor's close friend Mariette Rousseau; observes that the vomiting figure wears a Harlequin's costume and a tricorne; suggests that the figure at bottom right next to the kerchiefed woman may be a caricature of Kerschbaumer.
Catherine Fache in Ensor, la mort et le charme, un autre Ensor. Antwerp, 1993, p. 264.
Richard Cork. A Bitter Truth: Avant-Garde Art and the Great War. Exh. cat., Berlin Altes Museum. New Haven, 1994, pp. 98–99, colorpl. 122, describes the central figure as a "medal-bedecked national leader" and interprets the picture as a satirical commentary on "the generals, bureaucrats, and profiteers who thrive on the war at a comfortable distance from the Front".
Konstanze Wetzel-Kerschbaumer. Anton Kerschbaumer, 1885–1931. Munich, 1994, p. 137, under no. W 1923/6, identifies this work in the background of Kerschbaumer's gouache "The Pink Room with Ensor's Painting" (1923; private collection), showing a room in Kerschbaumer's Berlin residence.
Michel Draguet. James Ensor, ou la fantasmagorie. [Paris], 1999, fig. 217 (color), calls it "Le Banquet du Mourant" and "Le Repas des Maigres" and dates it 1918.
Evelyn Frick in Anton Kerschbaumer, 1885–1931. Exh. cat., Städtische Galerie Rosenheim. Rosenheim, 2001, p. 21.
Blair Hartzell in James Ensor. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 2009, p. 191, colorpl. 95.
Laurence Madeline et al. Ensor: James (art) Ensor. Exh. cat., Musée d'Orsay. Paris, 2009, unpaginated front matter, pp. 185, 260, no. 96, ill. (color and black and white).
Xavier Tricot. James Ensor: The Complete Paintings. Ostfildern, 2009, p. 354, no. 499, ill. (color), calls it "The Comical Meal (The Banquet/Meal of the Lean; The Banquet/Meal of the Starving)" and dates it 1917 or 1918; notes the existence of an old photograph (present location unknown) bearing the annotation in Ensor's handwriting: "Repas comique, 1917".