Frans Masereel - Self Portrait, 1923. Frans Masereel | The painter and graphic artist Frans Masereel was born in the Belgian town of Blankenberghe in 1889. A pacifist in World War I, Frans Masereel, tried to make his art accessible to the ordinary man. His works were banned by the Nazis and widely distributed in Communist countries. But he rejected "political" art and party affiliation, condemning all enslavements, oppression, war and violence.