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The Graphic Works of Odilon Redon
     

The Graphic Works of Odilon Redon

by Odilon Redon, Alfred Werner (Introduction)
 

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One of the most expressive artists of the Symbolism movement, Odilon (1840–1916) led a quiet life. Withdrawn in manner, conventional in dress, and virtually unknown for the first half of his career, the French painter and graphic artist drew upon his own startlingly complex and fantastic inner world to create haunting works that reveal an existence beyond

Overview

One of the most expressive artists of the Symbolism movement, Odilon (1840–1916) led a quiet life. Withdrawn in manner, conventional in dress, and virtually unknown for the first half of his career, the French painter and graphic artist drew upon his own startlingly complex and fantastic inner world to create haunting works that reveal an existence beyond that of everyday vision. He transformed common subjects and models into strange, eerie images and exhibited a predilection for spiders and serpents, skeletons and skulls, gnomes and monsters — all rendered in a distinctive style of controlled, delicate realism.
Redon's popularity arose chiefly among young progressive artists, who considered his works as visual correspondence to the literary symbolism of Mallarmé. Modern devotees regard Redon's translation of the subconscious world of dreams into visual reality as a precursor to Surrealism. This modestly priced volume offers a rich compilation of the influential artist's graphic works, with 209 illustrations — 72 lithographs, plus 37 etchings and engravings — depicting unforgettable scenes of fantasy and mystery.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780486446592
Publisher:
Dover Publications
Publication date:
09/20/2005
Series:
Dover Fine Art, History of Art Series
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
573,978
Product dimensions:
8.36(w) x 10.88(h) x 0.46(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Graphic Works of Odilon Redon


By Odilon Redon

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 1969 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-15645-3



CHAPTER 1

LIST OF PLATES


The 1913 catalogue of Redon's graphics by André Mellerio, along with its 1923 supplement, has been used here as the standard source for the titles of the prints and the size of the editions. Thus, any impressions of Redon's prints pulled later than 1923 are not taken into account. A few indications concerning engravings unknown to Mellerio are based on the 1961 catalogue of the Museum of Modern Art (N.Y.)/Art Institute of Chicago exhibition of works by Redon, Moreau and Bresdin. Throughout the list, dimensions are given in millimeters (100 mm = 3.937 inches), height before width. The "M" numbers (M.26, M.27, etc.) are the catalogue numbers of the works assigned by Mellerio.


LITHOGRAPHS

I—II Dans le Rêve (In the Dream); 1879; album of 10 plates and cover; edition of 25 sets

1 Cover; 302 × 223; M.26

2 No. I: Blossoming (Eclosion); 328 × 257; M.27

3 No. 2 Germination (Germination); 273 × 194; M.28

4 No. 3: The Wheel (La Roue); 232 × 196; M.29

5 No. 4: Limbo (Limbes); 307 × 223; M.30

6 No. 5: The Gambler (Le Joueur); 270× 193; M.31

7 No. 6 Gnome (Gnome); 272 × 220; M.32

8 No. 7: Feline Scene, (Félinerie) OR Mephisto (Méphisto); 268 × 203; M.33

9 No. 8: Vision (Vision); 274 × 198; M.34

10 No. Sad Ascent (Triste montée); 267 × 200; M.35

11 No. 10: On the Dish (Sur la coupe); 244 × 160; M.36


12—18 A Edgar Poë (To Edgar Allan Poe); 1882; album of 6 plates and inside front cover illustration; edition of 50 sets

12 Inside front cover; 165 × 115; M-37

13 No. 1: The eye, like a strange balloon, moves toward Infinity (L'œil, comme un ballon bizarre se dirige vers l'Infini); 262 × 198; M.38

14 No. 2: Before the black sun of Melancholy, Lenore appears (Devant le noir soleil de la Mélancolie, Lénor apparaît); 168 × 127; M.39

15 No.3: A mask sounds the funeral knell (Un masque sonne le glas funèbre); 158 × 192; M.40

16 No. 4: On the horizon the angel of Certitude, and in the somber heaven a questioning eye (A l'horizon, l'ange des Certitudes, et, dans le ciel sombre, un regard interrogateur); 272 × 208; M.41

17 No. 5: The breath which leads living creatures is also in the Spheres (Le souffle qui conduit les êtres est aussi dans les Sphères); 273 × 209; M.42

18 No. 6: Madness (La Folie); 145 × 200; M.43


19–27 Les Origines (The Origins); 1883; album of 8 plates with cover; edition of 25 sets

19 Cover; 305 × 225; M.44

20 No. 1: When life was awakening in the depths of obscure matter (Quand s'éveillait la vie au fond de la matière obscure); 275 × 203; M.45

21 No. 2: There was perhaps a first vision attempted in the flower (Il y eut peut-être une vision première essayée dans la fleur); 223 × 172; M.46

22 No. 3: The misshapen polyp floated on the shores, a sort of smiling and hideous Cyclops (Le polype difforme flottait sur les rivages, sorte de Cyclope souriant et hideux); 213 × 200; M.47

23 No. 4: The Siren, clothed in barbs, emerged from the waves (La Sirène sortit des flots, vêtue de dards); 300 × 235; M.48

24 No. 5: The Satyr with the cynical smile (Le Satyre au cynique sourire); 240 × 207; M.49

25 No. 6: There were struggles and vain victories (Il y eut des luttes et de vaines victoires); 289 × 222; M.50

26 No. 7: The impotent wing did not lift the animal into that black space (L'aile impuissante n'éleva point la bête en ces noirs espaces); 295 × 220; M.51

27 No. 8: And Man appeared; questioning the earth from which he emerged and which attracts him, he made his way toward somber brightness (Et l'homme parut, interrogeant le sol d'où il sort et qui l'attire, il se fraya la voie vers de sombres clartés); 280 × 204; M.52


28 Centaur Aiming at the Clouds (Centaure visant les nues); 1883; trial piece not included in Les Origines (Redon took up the subject again in No. 108); 298 × 256; M.53

29–34 Hommage à Goya (Homage to Goya); 1885; album of 6 plates; one edition of 50 and one of 25 sets

29 No. 1: In my dream I saw in the sky a face of mystery (Dans mon rêve, je vis au ciel un visage de mystère); 291 × 238; M.54

30 No. 2: The marsh flower, a sad human head (La fleur du marécage, une tête humaine et triste); 275 × 205; M.55

31 No. 3: A madman in a dismal landscape (Un fou dans un morne paysage); 226 × 193; M.56

32 No. 4: There were also embryonic beings (Il y eut aussi des êtres embryonnaires); 238 × 197; M.57

33 No. 5: A Strange Juggler (Un étrange jongleur); 199 × 190; M.58

34 No. 6: Upon awakening I saw the Goddess of the Intelligible with her severe and hard profile (Au réveil j'aperçus la Déesse de l'Intelligible au profil sévère et dur); 276 × 217; M.59


35 The Egg (L'Œuf); 1885; trial proof, not published; 290 × 225; M.60

36 Profile of Light (Profil de lumière); 1886; edition of 50 copies; 340 × 242; M.61


37–42 La Nuit (The Night); 1886; album of 6 plates; edition of 50 sets

37 No. 1: To Old Age (A la Vieillesse); 245 × 183; M.62

38 No. 2: The man was alone in a night landscape (L'homme fut solitaire dans un paysage de nuit); 293 × 220; M.63

39 No. 3: The lost angel then opened black wings (L'ange perdu ouvrit alors des ailes noires); 258 × 215; M.64

40 No. 4: The chimera gazed at all things with fear (La chimère regarda avec effroi toutes choses); 250 × 185; M.65

41 No. 5: The priestesses were waiting (Les prêtresses furent en attente); 287 × 212; M.66

42 No. 6: And the searcher was engaged in an infinite search (Et le chercheur était à la recherche infinie); 276 × 181; M.67


43 Brünnhilde (Brunnhilde); published in the Revue wagnérienne of August 8, 1886; edition of 300 copies; 118 × 100; M.68

44 Dark Peak (Cime noire); published in the Revue indépendante of April 1887; edition of 500 copies; 170 × 90; M.69

45 Girl (Jeune fille); 1887; edition of 25 copies; 300 × 224; M.70

46 Christ (Christ); 1887; edition of 25 copies; 330 × 270; M-71

47 Spider (Araignée); 1887; edition of 25 copies; 260 × 215; M.72

48 Menu of a dinner for French lithographers, April 1, 1887; about 50 copies were distributed; 50 x 118; M.73

49 The Idol (L'Idole); 1887; frontispiece for Les Soirs (The Evenings) by Emile Verhaeren; in 56 copies of the book; 162 × 94; M.74


50–56 Illustrations for Le Juré (The Juror) by Edmond Picard; 1887; edition of 100 copies in the book and 20 copies separately

50 The wall of his room was opening up and from the crack a death's-head was projected (La muraille de sa chambre s'entr'ouvrait et de la fente était projetée une tête de mort); 180 × 151; M.78

51 She shows herself to him, dramatic and grandiose, with her hair like that of a Druid priestess (Elle se montre a lui, dramatique et grandiose avec sa chevelure de prêtresse druidique); 192 × 143; M.80

52 A man of the people, a savage, passed beneath the head of the horses (Un homme du peuple, un sauvage, a passé sous la tête des chevaux); 183 × 136; M.75

53 The deep bell of Sainte-Gudule was sounding the hour in the nearby belfry (La cloche grave de Sainte-Gudule battait l'heure dans la tour voisine); 205 × 154; M.77

54 At the entrance of the walks, where the trees intertwine in an osteological maze of branches, the specter is outlined, glabrous and emaciated (A l'entrée des allées, où les arbres entrelacent le dédale ostéologique des branches, glabre et décharné, se dessine le spectre); 155 × 98; M.76

55 Why should there not exist a world made up of invisible, odd, fantastic, embryonic beings? (Pourquoi n'existerait-il pas un monde composé d'êtres invisibles, bizarres, fantastiques, embryonnaires?); 218 × 169; M.79

56 The sinister command of the specter is fulfilled. The dream has ended in death (Le commandement sinistre du spectre est accompli. Le rêve s'est achevé par la mort); 238 × 187; M.81


57 Des Esseintes; 1888; frontispiece for A Rebours (Against the Grain) by Joris-Karl Huysmans; issued separately in an edition of 50 copies; 129 × 92; M.82

58–68 Tentation de Saint-Antoine (The Temptation of Saint Anthony; 1st series); 1888; illustrations of the work by Gustave Flaubert, album of 10 plates and cover; edition of 60 sets

58 Cover; 198 × 140; M.83

59 No. 1: First a pool of water, then a prostitute, the corner of a temple, a soldier's face, a chariot with two white, rearing horses (D'abord une flaque d'eau, ensuite une prostituée, le coin d'un temple, une figurede soldat, un char avec deux chevaux blancs qui se cabrent); 29 × 208; M.84

60 No. 2: It is the devil, bearing beneath his two wings the seven deadly sins (C'est le diable, portant sous ses deuxailes les sept péchés capitaux); 254 × 200; M.85

61 No. 3: And a large bird, descending from the sky, hurls itself against the topmost point of her hair (Et un grand oiseau qui descend du ciel vient s'abattre sur le sommet de sa chevelure); 190 × 160; M.86

62 No. 4: He raises the bronze urn (Il hausse le vase d'airain); 274 × 196; M.87

63 No. 5: Then there appears a singular being, having the head of a man on the body of a fish (Ensuite parait un être singulier, ayant une tête d'homme sur un corps de poisson); 275 × 170; M.88

64 No. 6: It is a skull wreathed with roses. It dominates a woman's torso of pearly whiteness (C'est une tête de mort, avec une couronne de roses. Elle domine un torse de femme d'une blancheur nacrée); 296 × 213; M.89

65 No. 7: The chimera with green eyes turns, bays (La chimère aux yeux verts tournoie, aboie); 275 × 160; M.90

66 No. 8: And all manner of frightful creatures arise (Et toutes sortes de bêtes effroyables surgissent); 312 × 224; M.91

67 No. 9: Everywhere eyeballs are aflame (Partout des prunelles flamboient); 204 × 158; M.92

68 No. 10: And in the very disk of the sun shines the face of Jesus Christ (Et dans le disque même du soleil rayonne la face de Jésus Christ); 282 × 230; M.93


69–75 A Gustave Flaubert (To Gustave Flaubert; 2nd series of The Temptation of Saint Anthony); 1889; album of 6 plates and title plate; edition of 60 sets

69 Title plate; 258 × 203; M.94

70 No. 1: Saint Anthony: "Beneath her long hair, which covered her face, I thought I recognized Ammonaria" (Saint-Antoine: ... A travers ses longs cheveux qui lui couvraient la figure j'ai cru reconnaître Ammonaria); 287 × 232; M.95

71 No. 2: A long chrysalis, the color of blood (Une longue chrysalide couleur de sang); 220 × 185; M.96

72 No. 3: Death: "My irony surpasses all others!" (La Mort: Mon ironie dépasse toutes les autres!); 262 × 197; M.97

73 No. 4: Saint Anthony: "Somewhere there must be primordial shapes whose bodies are only images" (Saint-Antoine: Il doit y avoir quelque part des figures primordiales dont les corps ne sont que les images); 170 × 124; M.98

74 No. 5: The Sphinx: "My gaze, which nothing can deflect, passes through the things and remains fixed on an inaccessible horizon." The Chimera: "I am weightless and joyful" (Le Sphynx: ... Mon regard que rien ne peut dévier, demeure tendu à travers les choses sur un horizon inaccessible. La Chimère: Moi,je suis legere et joyeuse); 282 × 202; M.99

75 The Skiapods: "The head as low as possible, that is the secret of happiness!" (Les Sciapodes: La tête le plus bas possible, c'est le secret du bonheur!); 277 × 210; M.100


76 Frontispiece for Les Débâcles by Emile Verhaeren; 1889; in 52 copies of the book; 142 × 97; M.101

77 Frontispiece for El Moghreb al Aksa by Edmond Picard; 1889; edition of 205 copies; 243 × 185; M.103

78 Frontispiece for La Damnation de l'artiste (The Damnation of the Artist) by Iwan Gilkin; 1889; edition of 152 copies; 190 × 125; M.104

79 Frontispiece for Les Chimères (The Chimeras) by Jules Destrée; 1889; edition of 120 copies; 140 × 97; M.105

80 Captive Pegasus (Pegase captif); 1889 (first state); about 25 copies printed (a second state was published some years later in less than 100 copies); 340 × 293; M.102

81 Frontispiece for Les Flambeaux noirs (The Black Torches) by Emile Verhaeren; 1890; in 52 copies of the book; 173 × 121; M.106

82 Closed Eyes (Yeux clos); 1890; two editions of 50 copies each; 312 × 242; M.107

83 Serpent-Halo (Serpent-Auréole); 1890; edition of 50 copies; 302 × 226; M.108

84 Female Saint and Thistle (Sainte et chardon); 1891; edition of 50 copies; 285 × 207; M.109


85-90 Songes (Dreams); 1891; album of 6 plates; edition of 80 sets

85 No. I: It was a veil, an imprint (C'etait un voile, une empreinte); 188 × 133; M.110

86 No. 2: And beyond, the astral idol, the apotheosis (Et la-bas l'idole astrale, l'apothéose); 277 × 192; M.111

87 No. 3: Precarious glimmering, a head suspended from infinity (Lueur précaire, une tête à l'infini suspendue); 208 × 275; M.112

88 No. 4: Beneath the wing of shadow the black creature was biting energetically (Sous l'aile d'ombre, l'être noir appliquait une active morsure); 225 × 172; M.113

89 No. 5: Pilgrim of the sublunary world (Pelerin du monde sublunaire); 275 × 205; M.114

90 No. 6: Day (Le Jour); 210 × 158; M.115


91 Parsifal; 1892; edition of 50 copies; 322 × 242; M.116

92 Druid Priestess (Druidesse); 1892; edition of 50 copies; 230 × 200; M. 117

93 Mystical Conversation (Entretien mystique); 1892; edition of 50 copies; 134 × 98; M.118

94 The Reader (Le Liseur; thought to be a reminiscence of Redon's master Bresdin); 1892; edition of 50 copies; 310 × 236; M.119

95 Tree (Arbre); 1892; edition of 25 copies; 480 × 320; M.120

96 Frontispiece for Les Ténèbres (The Darkness) by Iwan Gilkin; 1892; 198 × 123; M.121

97 The Wing (L'Aile); 1893; edition of 25 copies; 319 × 245; M.122

98 Light (Lumière); 1893; edition of 50 copies; 392 × 272; M. 123

99 Frontispiece for Chevaleries sentimentales by Ferdinand Hérold; 1893; 18 × 83; M. 124

100 My Child (Mon enfant; portrait of Redon's son Arï); 1893; 25 proofs or fewer pulled not for sale; 230 × 217; M.125

101 Auricular Cell (Cellule auriculaire); 1894; published in L'Estampe Originale; edition of 100 copies; 268 × 250; M.126

102 Winged Horse (Cheval ailé); 1894; published in the Revue Blanche; 158 × 118; M. 127

103 Obsession (Hantise); 1894; edition of 25 copies (second state); 361 × 229; M.128

104 The Charger (Le Coursier); 1894; edition of 25 copies; 215 × 188; M. 129

105 Brünnhilde in Die Götterdämmerung (Brunnhilde, Crépuscule des Dieux)];ITL 1894; edition of 80 copies; 380 × 292; M.130

106 The Celestial Art (L'Art céleste); 1894; edition of 50 copies; 315 × 258; M.131

107 The Buddha (Le Buddha); 1895; published in L'Estampe Originale; edition of 100 copies; 324 × 249; M.132

108 Centaur Aiming at the Clouds (Centaure visant les nues); 1895; edition of 50 copies; 314 × 250; M.133

109–132 La Tentation de Saint-Antoine (The Temptation of Saint Anthony; 3rd series); 1896; illustrations of the work by Gustave Flaubert, album of 24 plates, including title plate; edition of 50 sets


109 No. 1: Title plate; 240 × 165; M.134

110 No. 2: Saint Anthony: "Help me, O my God!" (Saint-Antoine: Au secours mon Dieu!); 215 × 130; M-135

111 No. 3: And on every side are columns of basalt,... the light falls from the vaulted roof (Et partout ce sont des colonnes de basalte, ... la lumière tombe des voûtes); 243 × 90; M- 136

112 No: 4: My kisses have the taste of fruit which would melt in your heart! ... You disdain me! Farewell! (Mes baisers ont le goût d'un fruit qui se fondrait dans ton cœur! ... Tu me dédaignes! Adieu!); 203 × 166; M.137

113 No. 5: Flowers fall and the head of a python appears (Des fleurs tombent, 'et la tête d'un python paraît); 260 × 198; M.138

114 No. 6: In the shadow are people, weeping and praying, surrounded by others who are exhorting them (Dans l'ombre des gens pleurent et prient entoures d'autres qui les exhortent); 265 × 216; M.139

115 No. 7: And he discerns an arid, knoll-covered plain (Et il distingue une plaine aride et mamelonneuse); 248 × 195; M.140

116 No. 8: She draws from her bosom a sponge, perfectly black, and covers it with kisses (Elle tire de sa poitrine une éponge toute noire, la couvre de baisers); 193 × 153; M.141

117 No. 9: 1 plunged into solitude. I dwelt in the tree behind me (Je me suis enfoncé dans la solitude. J'habitais l'arbre derrière moi); 300 × 225; M. 142

118 No. 10: Helen–Ennoia (Helene–Ennoia); 95 × 85; M.143

119 No. 11: Immediately three goddesses arise (Immédiatement surgissent trois déesses); 170 × 133; M. 144

120 No. 12: Intelligence was mine! I became the Buddha (L'intelligence fut à moi! Je devins le Buddha); 320 × 220; M. 145


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Graphic Works of Odilon Redon by Odilon Redon. Copyright © 1969 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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