- Odilon Redon
- La Vierge d'aurore
- Signed Odilon Redon (lower right)
- Oil on panel
- 21 3/4 by 14 3/4 in.
- 55.7 by 37.5 cm
Baron Robert de Domecy, France (acquired directly from the artist)
Sermizelles Collection, Burgundy, France
Private Collection (by descent from the above)
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1997
Alec Wildenstein, Odilon Redon, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint et dessiné: Études et grandes décorations; Supplément, vol. IV, Paris, 1998, no. 2590, illustrated p. 254
Odilon Redon, entre rêve et mystère (exhibition catalogue), Gunman, Musée d'Art Moderne, 2001, no. 23, illustrated in color p. 45
In the early 1890s, Odilon Redon received an increasing amount of attention from collectors and critics, leading to his first one-man show in 1894 at Galerie Durand-Ruel in Paris. It was during this time that color began to take center stage in Redon’s output and, from then on, his pieces in pastels and oils would be more closely associated with his oeuvre than the noirs
he built his reputation on in his earlier years. Redon himself celebrated the use of color in his later works, writing to his friend Picard: "I feel the coming of the hour where time doubles its price, the instant where the artist knows himself and no longer goes astray. Master of my means—in a small domain—I experience more than ever the pleasures which work procures. With pastel I have recovered the hope of giving my dreams greater plasticity, if possible. Colors contain a joy which relaxes me; besides, they sway me towards something different and new. Yet I could not speak to you of my projects; one doesn’t know the art of tomorrow" (quoted by John Rewald in Odilon Redon, Gustave Moreau, Rodolphe Bresdin
(exhibition catalogue), Museum of Modern Art, New York & The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, 1961-62, p. 39).
While often misunderstood by his earliest contemporaries, Redon became a master to a future generations of painters, including the Belgian group Les XX and the Nabis in France. Perhaps one of the earliest champions of Redon's work was the critic Emile Hennequin. Hennequin wrote in the March 4, 1882 Revue Artistique et Littéraire that: "From now on M. Odilon Redon should be considered one of our masters...an outstanding master who, aside from Goya, has neither ancestor nor follower... This work is bizarre; it touches the grandiose, the delicate, the subtle, the perverse, the angelic... It contains a treasure of dreams and suggestions..." (quoted in John Rewald, Studies in Post-Impressionism, New York, 1986, p. 216).