N08790

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Lot 375
  • 375

Odilon Redon

Estimate
400,000 - 600,000 USD
bidding is closed

Description

  • Odilon Redon
  • Le Char d'Apollon et le Dragon
  • Signed ODILON REDON (lower right)
  • Oil on board
  • 20 5/8 by 26 5/8 in.
  • 52.4 by 67.6 cm

Provenance

Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris
Private Collection, Paris
Sale: Galerie Charpentier, Paris, Vente de la Collection M. et Mme.
B.
, March 12, 1954, lot 74
Galerie Katia Granoff 
Umeha Gallery, Japan (possibly)
Private Collection (acquired in Japan in 1976)

Exhibited

Kamakura, Museum of Modern Art & Nagoya, Prefectural Museum of Aichi, Exposition Odilon Redon, 1973, no. 9
Gifu, Museum of Fine Arts; Kumamoto, Prefectural Museum of Art & Hiroshima, Prefectural Museum of Art, Odilon Redon, rencontres et
r
Ă©sonances, 1985-1986, no. 129, illustrated in color in the catalogue
Tokyo, National Museum of Modern Art; Kobe, Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Modern Art & Nagoya, Aichi Prefectural Art Gallery, Redon, 1989, no. 233, illustrated in color in the catalogue

Literature

Alec Wildenstein, Odilon Redon, Catalogue Raisonné de l'Oeuvre Peint et Dessiné, vol. II, Paris, 1994, no. 867, illustrated p. 59

Condition

Board is stable. Small losses are apparent at the extreme corners and some frame rubbing is visible at the left of the top edge and at the bottom of the right edge. There is a small repair at the extreme bottom corner, just to the right of the center. The artist's pinholes are present at all four corners. A few pin-dot nicks to the surface are present but limited to the edge of the composition. Under UV light: a thick varnish makes the surface difficult to read. Scattered spots of exposed boards fluoresce, but no inpainting is apparent. Overall the work is in good condition.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

Catalogue Note

Odilon Redon returned often to the subject of Apollo in his sun chariot with the writhing coils of a snake below, revealing the pervasive influence of Eugene Delacroix, whose Apollo Slays Python (1850-51) decorates the ceiling of the Gallery of Apollo in the Louvre. (see fig. 1)

Redon's first drawing instructor, Stanislas Gorin, encouraged Odilon at the age of fifteen to copy the works of Delacroix, possibly including versions of Apollo Slays the Python, which at that time had been installed only five years previously at the heart of France's national museum.  Delacroix remained a profound influence on Redon a decade later when, in 1866, he produced eleven highly romantic orientalist "eaux-fortes" which he acknowledged were inspired by the older master's battle paintings, echoes of which may be seen in the rearing horses of the work presently offered.

The scene here depicted shows Apollo in the midst of his first heroic act, slaying Python, ancient son of mother earth Gaia who terrorized the lands surrounding his lair in Mount Parnassus.  In honor of this victory he instituted the Pythian Games.  The subject lends itself to the exuberantly dynamic style of Delacroix.  But Odilon Redon infuses his rendering of the subject with an air of dreamlike calm, in keeping with his preference in his mature works to maintain a sense of ambiguity.  As Redon wrote,"My drawings inspire, and are not to be defined. They place us, as does music, in the ambiguous realm of the undetermined."

Fig. 1 Eugene Delacroix, Apollo Slays Python, 1850-51, Oil on canvas, Louvre Museum