A Different Kind of Blog

news and things sacred and irreverent put together by opinionated people.

Artist of the Day – Odilon Redon

Posted by dorian on July 14, 2009


Self portrait 1880 - Odilon Redon

Self portrait 1880

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.

The-Boat-Aka-Virgin-With-Corona Wild-Flowers-In-A-Long-Necked-Vase Angel-In-Chains The-Crown







To see Redon’s complete works and analysis, go to http://www.odilon-redon.org/

bio excerpt from Wikipedia


3 Responses to “Artist of the Day – Odilon Redon”


    thanks dorian, a nice change of pace.
    life imitates art.


  2. iflay said

    Didn’t your dog eat the redon book you got from paris? Go back and get a new one. I’ll meet you there. How about in october?


  3. dorian said

    ciao flay! my dog loves redon too and he’ll probably eat the book again. sevilla for tapas and the other saborsitas!


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