Odilon Redon was a French artist. His prints are spellbinding. "My originality consists in putting the logic of the visible to the service of the invisible," he said of his art.
"A title is justified only when it is vague and even aims confusedly at the elliptical. My drawings inspire, and are not to be defined. They determine nothing. They place us, as does music, in the ambiguous realm of the undetermined. They are a kind of metaphor..."
Odilon Redon (1840-1916) was dubbed by Karl Joris Huysmans "The Prince of Dreams". The writer wrote of Redon's work:
. . . figures whose simian shapes, heavy jaws, beetling eyebrows, retreating foreheads and flat skulls, recalled the ancestral heads of the first quaternary periods, when inarticulate man still devoured fruits and seeds, and was still contemporaneous with the mammoth, the rhinoceros and the big bear. These designs were beyond anything imaginable; they leaped, for the most part, beyond the limits of painting and introduced a fantasy that was unique, the fantasy of a diseased and delirious mind.
The French painter and graphic artist is one of the outstanding figures of Symbolism. Redon's art prints are gorgeous.
He had a retiring life, first in his native Bordeaux, then from 1870 in Paris, and until he was in his fifties he worked almost exclusively in black and white, in charcoal drawings and lithographs. In these he developed a highly distinctive repertoire of weird subjects (strange amoeboid creatures, insects, and plants with human heads and so on), influenced by the writings of Edgar Allen Poe. He remained virtually unknown to the public until the publication of J.K. Huysmans's celebrated novel A Rebours (Against Nature) in 1884. The book's hero, a disenchanted aristocrat who lives in a private world of perverse delights, collects Redon's drawings, and with his mention in this classic expression of decadence, Redon too became associated with the movement.
During the 1890s Redon turned to painting and revealed remarkable powers as a colourist that had lain dormant. Much of his early life had been unhappy, but after undergoing a religious crisis in the early 1890s and a serious illness in 1894-95, he was transformed into a much more buoyant and cheerful personality, expressing himself in radiant colours in mythological scenes and flower paintings. He showed equal facility in oils and pastel. The flower pieces, in particular, were much admired by Matisse, and the Surrealists regarded Redon as one of their precursors. He was a distinguished figure by the end of his life, although still a very private person. - Odilon Redon, Facebook Page