Artist of the Day – Odilon Redon
Posted by dorian on July 14, 2009
Bertrand-Jean Redon better known as Odilon Redon (April 20, 1840 – July 6, 1916) was a Symbolist painter and printmaker, born in Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France. Odilon was a nickname derived from his mother, Odile.
Redon started drawing as a young child, and at the age of 10 he was awarded a drawing prize at school. At age 15, he began formal study in drawing but on the insistence of his father he switched to architecture. His failure to pass the entrance exams at Paris’ Ecole des Beaux-Arts ended any plans for a career as an architect, although he would later study there under Jean-Leon Gerome.
Back home in his native Bordeaux, he took up sculpture, and Rodolphe Bresdin instructed him in etching and lithography. However, his artistic career was interrupted in 1870 when he joined the army to serve in the Franco-Prussian War.
At the end of the war, he moved to Paris, working almost exclusively in charcoal and lithography. It would not be until 1878 that his work gained any recognition with Guardian Spirit of the Waters, and he published his first album of lithographs, titled Dans le Reve, in 1879. Still, Redon remained relatively unknown until the appearance in 1884 of a cult novel by Joris-Karl Huysmans titled, rebours (Against Nature). The story featured a decadent aristocrat who collected Redon’s drawings. In the 1890s, he began to use pastel and oils, which dominated his works for the rest of his life.
To see Redon’s complete works and analysis, go to http://www.odilon-redon.org/
bio excerpt from Wikipedia