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Monday, December 10, 2012

Redon, Odilon


Anemones and lilac in a Blue Vase
after 1912
60 x 74 cm (23.5 x 29.0 in.)
pastel on paper
Musee du Petit-Palais, Paris, France

"My drawings inspire and are not to be defined. They determine nothing. They place us, as does music, in the ambiguous world of the undetermined. They are a kind of metaphor." (Redon)

Bertrand-Jean Redon, better known as Odilon Redon (1840 - 1916), French, was one of the outstanding figures of Symbolism.Much of his early life had been unhappy, but after undergoing a religious crisis and a serious illness, he was transformed into a much more buoyant and cheerful personality, expressing himself in radiant colors in mythological scenes and flower paintings.

He had a retiring life, first in his native Bordeaux, then 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 strange creatures, insects, and plants with human heads, etc., influenced by the writings of Edgar Allen Poe. He remained virtually unknown to the public until the publication of J.K. Huysmans's novel A Rebours in 1884; the book's hero 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.

His aim was to represent pictorially the ghosts of his own mind. His work represents an exploration of his internal feelings and psyche. He himself wanted to place the visible at the service of the invisible.
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.
http://www.imaginarymuseum.net/view/flipcard