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Odilon Redon Gallery     Prints.     Full biography.
Odilon Redon (1840-1916)
Odilon Redon is a native of Bordeaux. In 1875 he entered the shadowy world of charcoal and the lithographer's stone. The overall effect, imbued with a melancholy passivity, stood outside of trends and movements, as nocturnal, autumnal, and lunar. In the 1890s, commanded by his dreams, he began to use the luminous, musical tones of pastel and oils. The thematic content of his work then became densely mythical, brimming with newfound hope and light.
Woman with Wildflowers
Flowers in a Chinese Vase
Chariot of Apollo
Ophelia among the Flowers
Geraniums
Cathedral
Vase with Flowers

Viewer

Flowers in a Chinese Vase, ca. 1906
Oil on canvas; 28 5/8 x 21 1/4 in. (72.7 x 54 cm)
Metropolitan Museum of Art

Redon, a figure important to the symbolist movement, championed an aesthetic ideal based on the primacy of the imagination, yet his work is rooted in the observation of nature, as this painting of about 1906 shows. His stated intention was "to place the logic of the visible at the service of the invisible." In his still lifes, most of which date from the last two decades of his life, objects are depicted in great detail but placed against a misty, undefined background. This picture was shown in New York in 1906, seven years before Redon's work became familiar in the United States as a result of the Armory Show.

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