Galerie Taménaga

Odilon Redon (Bordeaux 1840-1916 Paris)
Vase de fleurs
50 x 43 cm
Signed lower right: ODILON REDON
Provenance: César de Hauk, New York; Jacques Sligman, New York; John Hertz, New York; Paul Nexter, Palm Beach; Wildenstein & Co., New York; Sydney R. Barlow, Beverly Hills; Yasuo Suita, Kyoto; private collection
Literature: J. Cassou, Odilon Redon, Milan: Fratelli Fabbri, 1972, n° 1, p. 60; A. Wildenstein, Odilon Redon, Catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre peint et dessiné, 1996, vol. III, Paris: Wildenstein Institute, n° 1612, p. 162

Of all the names in the history of 19th and 20th century art, Odilon Redon's is attached to one of the most singular works of his time. From his fragile childhood spent on the family estate of Peyrebade in the Médoc, he retained a deep attachment to the silent life of the countryside and to the mystery arising from this isolation. After studying drawing with Stanislas Gorin, Redon developed a unique aesthetic marked by realism and an uncommon sensitivity.

A true lover of nature, Redon transfigured its elements to the point of elevating them to the rank of myth. His still lifes, his bouquets of flowers, his landscapes reveal the artist's vision where tangible reality and the fantasies of his own imagination are intertwined. Each of his works is an imaginary poem, generating dreams for anyone who contemplates them. The mysterious, even enigmatic character of his works makes him one of the precursors of Surrealism. Similarly, the special light and shimmering colours of his paintings and pastels have been a well-known source of inspiration for the most famous painters of the 20th century.

This Vase of Flowers is emblematic of Odilon Redon's art, and is part of his later, more naturalistic work. It was one of his favourite themes from the 1900s until the end of his life. Perceived as simple ornaments of our countryside, his wife arranged bouquets so that Redon could capture the soul of nature. The drawing and the vaporous colours are evidence of a remarkable pastel technique.