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.

[ Early charcoals (1878-85) ]

1074 x 791 159.7K
159.7K, 1074 x 791

Red Boat with Blue Sail
Painted: 1906-07
Oil on canvas
54 x 73 cm
Private collection

Painted: 1885
Pastel over charcoal
34.5 x 30 cm
Private collection

873 x 955 178.9K
178.9K, 873 x 955

774 x 1047 224.4K
224.4K, 774 x 1047

Le Bouddha
(The Buddha)
Painted: 1905
Pastel on paper
98 x 73 cm
Musee d'Orsay

La coquille
(The Seashell)
Painted: 1912
Pastel on paper
51 x 57.8 cm
Musee d'Orsay

1016 x 850 159.1K
159.1K, 1016 x 850

814 x 1033 242.5K
242.5K, 814 x 1033

The Cyclops
Painted: 1914
Oil on canvas
64 x 51 cm
Museum Kroller-Mueller

Flower Clouds
Painted: 1903
44.5 x 54.2 cm
The Art Institute of Chicago

1012 x 849 204.0K
204.0K, 1012 x 849

835 x 1003 227.4K
227.4K, 835 x 1003

Painted: 1903
Oil on canvas
66 x 54.5 cm
Kunstmuseum St. Gallen

The Golden Cell
Painted: 1892
Oil and gold metallic paint on paper prepared with white ground
30.1 x 24.6 cm
The British Museum

814 x 1011 189.6K
189.6K, 814 x 1011

804 x 1080 212.5K
212.5K, 804 x 1080

Painted: 1900-05
Pastel on paper mounted on board
50.5 x 67.3 cm
The Woodner Collection

Painted: 1902
Distemper on canvas
225 x 185 cm
Rijksmuseum Twenthe

1081 x 781 252.8K
252.8K, 1081 x 781

841 x 1048 157.8K
157.8K, 841 x 1048

Painted: 1912
Pastel on beige paper
66 x 52 cm
Musee d'Orsay

Profile and Flowers
Painted: 1912
Pastel on paper
70.2 x 55.2 cm
McNay Art Institute
San Antonio

826 x 1041 164.7K
164.7K, 826 x 1041

833 x 1042 217.6K
217.6K, 833 x 1042

The Red Sphinx
Painted: 1912
Oil on canvas
61 x 49.5 cm
Private collection

Saint John
Painted: 1892
Pastel over charcoal
42.5 x 29 cm
Private collection

765 x 1108 202.1K
202.1K, 765 x 1108

809 x 1056 235.2K
235.2K, 809 x 1056

Woman with a Yellow Bodice
Painted: 1899
66 x 50 cm
Museum Kroller-Mueller

Les yeux clos (Closed Eyes)
Painted: 1890
Oil on canvas mounted on cardboard
44 x 36 cm
Musee d'Orsay

841 x 1020 185.9K
185.9K, 841 x 1020

795 x 1074 159.7K
159.7K, 795 x 1074

Painted: Undated
Oil on canvas
73 x 53.9 cm
The Phillips Collection