Lot 105
  • 105

Odilon Redon

30,000 - 40,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Odilon Redon
  • Contemplation
  • Signed Odilon Redon (lower left)
  • Watercolor and pen and ink on paper


Galerie Marcel Bernheim & Cie, Paris
Galerie Zak, Paris
Acquired from the above on April 15, 1965


Alec Wildenstein, Odilon Redon, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint et dessiné. Portraits et figures, vol. I, Paris, 1992, no. 274, illustrated p. 116

Catalogue Note

As long understood by the monarchs who would order their likenesses imprinted on coins and postage stamps, a head viewed in profile is elevated to an archetype that occupies the realm of the extraordinary. As the leading figure of the Symbolist movement, Redon made regular use of this motif: “Without clearly determinable gender, yet tending toward the female, with regular but hard features framed by a veil or hair and a collar, slightly inclined and with eyes either closed or gazing downward, it resists identification but conveys at the same time the impression of a superior spiritual being that is sufficient unto itself and may even feel sympathy for normal humanity” (D. Gamboni in As in a Dream, Odilon Redon (exhibition catalogue), Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, 2007, pp. 126-27). In Contemplation, the soft lines and washed pigments that describe Redon's figures serve to emphasize this very ethereal, transporting quality.