Redon, Odilon

Redon, Odilon (1840-1916). French painter and graphic artist, one of the outstanding figures of Symbolism.

He had a retiring life, first in his native Bordeaux, then from 1870 in Paris, and until he was in his fifties he worked almost exclusively in black and white, in charcoal drawings and lithographs. In these he developed a highly distinctive repertoire of weird subjects (strange amoeboid creatures, insects, and plants with human heads and so on), influenced by the writings of Edgar Allen Poe. He remained virtually unknown to the public until the publication of J.K. Huysmans's celebrated novel A Rebours in 1884; the book's hero, a disenchanted aristocrat who lives in a private world of perverse delights, collects Redon's drawings, and with his mention in this classic expression of decadence, Redon too became associated with the movement.

During the 1890s Redon turned to painting and revealed remarkable powers as a colorist that had lain dormant. Much of his early life had been unhappy, but after undergoing a religious crisis in the early 1890s and a serious illness in 1894-95, he was transformed into a much more buoyant and cheerful personality, expressing himself in radiant colors in mythological scenes and flower paintings. He showed equal facility in oils and pastel. The flower pieces, in particular, were much admired by Matisse, and the Surrealists regarded Redon as one of their precursors. He was a distinguished figure by the end of his life, although still a very private person.

Image Mystery
undated (160 Kb); Oil on canvas, 73 x 53.9 cm (28 3/4 x 21 1/4 in); The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.

Image Beatrice
1885 (180 Kb); Pastel over charcoal, 34.5 x 30 cm; Private collection

Image Les yeux clos (Closed Eyes)
1890 (190 Kb); Oil on canvas mounted on cardboard, 44 x 36 cm (17 3/8 x 14 1/4 in); Musee d'Orsay, Paris

Image Saint John
1892 (200 Kb); Pastel over charcoal, 42.5 x 29 cm; Private collection

Image The Golden Cell
1892 (190 Kb); Oil and gold metallic paint on paper prepared with white ground, 30.1 x 24.6 cm; The British Museum

Image Woman with a Yellow Bodice
c. 1899 (240 Kb); Pastel, 66 x 50 cm; Museum Kroller-Mueller, Otterlo, The Netherlands

Image Ophelia
c. 1900-05 (210 Kb); Pastel on paper mounted on board, 50.5 x 67.3 cm (19 7/8 x 26 1/2 in); The Woodner Collection

Image Panel
c. 1902 (250 Kb); Distemper on canvas, 225 x 185 cm; Rijksmuseum Twenthe, Enschede, The Netherlands

Image Flowers
c. 1903 (230 Kb); Oil on canvas, 66 x 54.5 cm; Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, Switzerland

Image Flower Clouds
c. 1903 (200 Kb); Pastel, 44.5 x 54.2 cm; The Art Institute of Chicago

Image Le Bouddha (The Buddha)
c. 1905 (220 Kb); Pastel on paper, 98 x 73 cm (35 1/2 x 28 3/4 in); Musee d'Orsay, Paris

Image Red Boat with Blue Sail
1906-07 (160 Kb); Oil on canvas, 54 x 73 cm; Private collection

Image Parsifal
c. 1912 (160 Kb); Pastel on beige paper, 66 x 52 cm (26 x 20 1/2 in); Musee d'Orsay, Paris

Image Profile and Flowers
1912 (160 Kb); Pastel on paper, 70.2 x 55.2 cm (27 5/8 x 21 3/4 in); McNay Art Institute, San Antonio, TX

Image La coquille (The Seashell)
1912 (160 Kb); Pastel on paper, 51 x 57.8 cm (20 1/2 x 22 3/4 in); Musee d'Orsay, Paris

Image The Red Sphinx
c. 1912 (220 Kb); Oil on canvas, 61 x 49.5 cm; Private collection

Image The Cyclops
c. 1914 (240 Kb); Oil on canvas, 64 x 51 cm; Museum Kroller-Mueller, Otterlo, The Netherlands

16 Jul 2002, Nicolas Pioch - Top - Up - Info
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