Odilon Redon, born April 22, 1840 in Bordeaux and died July 6, 1916 in Paris, was a Symbolist painter and colorist of the late nineteenth century. He began his painter life in the drawing which he remained faithful for a long time.

Considered as a precursor of symbolism and surrealism, Odilon Redon created at the beginning of his career a world of “black” fantastic, dreamlik. Indeed his art explored the intricacies of the mind, soul and the mechanisms of the dream. His paintings seem “suffering”. You can see goofy smiles, human head skeleton, spiders smiling or crying, angels with black and heavy wings but almost always in black.

L’ange perdu – 1883

L’araignée qui pleure – 1881

Around 1890, Redon switched to a more serene, calm and coloured world. It’s at this period that Redon opened his art to pastel, a more visually “happy” period. This coloured period will follow him until the end of his life.

It is difficult to define Redon as he is rather mystical in some of his works and rather real and happy in some others. Hard to say if he used to paint his dreams or a representation of the real life but he knew how to paint with colours and light as shown in his “flowers” paintings.


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