Lot 363
  • 363

ODILON REDON | Vase de fleurs

300,000 - 400,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Odilon Redon
  • Vase de fleurs
  • signed Odilon Redon (lower right)
  • pastel on paper
  • 82.5 by 64cm., 33 3/4 by 27in.
  • Executed circa 1905-08.


Ambroise Vollard, Paris
Richard Sussman, Paris
Durlacher Brothers, New York
Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York
Mr Joseph Verner Reed & Mrs Marie Maude Byers, New York (acquired by 1956)
Sale: Christie's, New York, 15th May 1985, lot 36
Sale: Phillips, New York, 6th November 2000, lot 1
Sale: Tajan, Paris, 12th June 2003, lot 9
Galerie Cazeau-Béraudière, Paris (purchased at the above sale)
Acquired from the above by the present owners in 2004


New Haven, Yale University Art Gallery, Pictures Collected by Yale Alumni, 1956, no. 227, illustrated in the catalogue


Klaus Berger, Odilon Redon, Cologne, 1964, no. 467, n.p.
Alec Wildenstein, Odilon Redon, Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint et dessiné, Paris, 1996, vol. III, no. 1577, illustrated p. 146

Catalogue Note

Odilon Redon’s exquisite still-life compositions of floral arrangements constitute the hallmark of the artist’s œuvre. Executed in pastel, the present work serves as a prime example of this defining motif, with the soft texture of the medium evoking the fragile, velvety petals and delicate leaves of the bouquet. In this lively composition, Redon captures the contrasting colours and shapes of the flowers, creating a wild spray evocative of the ambiance and fragrance of spring. As Redon states: 'He who believes that the aim of art is to reproduce nature will paint nothing lasting: for nature is alive, but she has no intelligence. In a work of art, thought must complement and replace life; otherwise you will only see a physical work that has no soul' (quoted in Richard Hobbs, Odilon Redon, London, 1977, p. 152). Indeed, throughout Redon’s career, the sense of a spirit or soul within a mark or composition was one that he sought repeatedly to capture. Whilst his early focus was on the Symbolist movement, creating his charcoal 'noir' series of drawings and mystical compositions, he later found great lyricism and feeling in the theme of the still-life. Redon composed these bouquets from what the artist described as 'flowers at the confluence of two riverbanks, that of representation and that of memory' (quoted in Roseline Bacou, Odilon Redon: Pastels, New York, 1987, p. 16). Blending dream and reality, Redon combined various bouquets, arranged by his wife, with the flora and fauna from fanciful gardens of his imagination. Eloquently marrying the traditional genre of still-life painting with his mystical 'noir' works, these dynamic floral compositions are testament to the artist’s unique ability to balance the ephemeral qualities of nature with the enduring power of imagination.