Odilon Redon

(1840 - 1916)
Odilon Redon 'The Temptation of Saint Anthony'. 'Ensuite, paraît un être singulier, ayant une tête d'homme sur un corps de poisson' (Plate V) Published 1888

Biography

Odilon (Betrand-Jean) Redon was an innovative French printmaker, draughtsman and Symbolist painter. In the 1860s he formed a close friendship with the printmaker Rodolphe Bresdin and from him learned the craft of engraving and etching. Redon was noted for his large, highly original charcoal drawings, which he called his Noirs. They evoke a mysterious world of subjective, often melancholic fantasy. In 1879 he published his first album of lithographs, ‘Dans le rêve’. In the 1890s he increasingly used pastels and oils, and in 1899 he exhibited at Paul Durand-Ruel’s gallery with the Nabis. In the decade preceding his death, Redon’s work attracted increasing recognition and appreciation. He died in Paris in 1913.

Glossary terms

  • The representation of subjects or ideas by use of a device or motif to create underlying meaning. A literary and artistic movement that originated in France and spread through much of Europe in the late 19th century. There was no consistent style but rather an appeal to the idea of the artist as mystic or visionary and the desire to express a world beyond superficial appearances.

  • Used to cover a range of different painting styles that emerged following Impressionism in Europe. This includes artists such as Paul Cezanne, Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin.