Odilon Redon

Redon, Odilon (ôdēlôNˈ rədôNˈ) [key], 1840–1916, French painter and lithographer. He studied in Paris under Gérôme. Later his friend Fantin-Latour taught him lithography, but he was most influenced by Rodolphe Bresdin, an older artist who had created a world of fantastic imagery. Redon's first volume of lithographs, Dans le rêve, appeared in 1879. After 1889 he devoted himself to oil painting and especially pastels. Symbolically conceived, his work is related to that of writers such as Poe, Baudelaire, and Mallarmé. An artist of lyrical and mystical vision, he created translucent flower pieces and often depicted literary subjects. Redon stands as a precursor to surrealism, with his mysterious evocations of a dreamworld. Characteristic of his paintings are Les Yeux clos (Louvre) and Le Silence (Mus. of Modern Art, New York City). Fine examples of his graphic work can be found at the Art Institute, Chicago, and at the Bibliothèque nationale, Paris.

See his journal, À Soi-Même (1922); Graphic Works (tr. 1913, repr. 1969); studies by K. Berger (1965), J. Selz (1971), and S. F. Eisenman (1992).

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