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Odilon Redon (1840-1916)
PROPERTY OF A LADY 
Odilon Redon (1840-1916)

Centaure et Centauresse

Details
Odilon Redon (1840-1916)
Centaure et Centauresse
signed 'OD. REDON' (lower left)
charcoal on buff paper
14¼ x 13¼ in. (36.2 x 33.7 cm.)
Drawn circa 1885-1890
Provenance
Ambroise Vollard, Paris.
Steven Higgins, Paris.
The Ian Woodner Family Collection, New York (acquired from the above, May 1973).
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
Literature
A. Wildenstein, Odilon Redon, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint et dessiné, Paris, 1994, vol. II, p. 265, no. 1243 (illustrated).
Exhibited
Neuss, Germany, Clemens-Sels Museum, Meine Schwarzen Bilder. Kohlezeichnungen und Lithographien von Odilon Redon, March-May 1965, no. 6.
Paris, Palais Galliera, Symbolistes, December 1971.
London, Hayward Gallery and Liverpool, Walker Art Center, French Symbolist Painters, Moreau, Puvis de Chauvannes, Redon and their Followers, June-September 1972, no. 257 (illustrated, p. 123).
Madrid, Museo español de Arte contemporáneo and Barcelona, Museo de Arte moderno, El Simbolismo en la Pintura francesa, October 1972-January 1973, p. 98, no. 208.
Jerusalem, The Israel Museum, Odilon Redon. Ian Woodner Collection, December 1985-February 1986, no. 37 (illustrated).
Munich, Villa Stück, Odilon Redon. Ian Woodner Collection, March-May 1986, p. 66 (illustrated).
Minneapolis, Institute of Arts, Odilon Redon, The Woodner Collection, December 1986-February 1987.
Berkeley, University Art Museum, Odilon Redon, The Woodner Collection, September-December 1987.
Washington D.C., The Phillips Collection, Odilon Redon, The Woodner Collection, April-June 1988, no. 45 (illustrated in color).
Portland Museum of Art, Odilon Redon, Masterpieces from the Woodner Collection, August-October 1988.
Tokyo, The National Museum of Modern Art; Kobe, The Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Modern Art and Nagoya, Aichi Prefectural Art Gallery, Odilon Redon, March-July 1989, no. 25 (illustrated in color).
Barcelona, Museu Picasso, Odilon Redon. La colección Ian Woodner, November 1989-January 1990, p. 148, no. 57 (illustrated in color, p. 149).
Madrid, Fundación Juan March, Odilon Redon. La colección Ian Woodner, January-April 1990, p. 130, no. 65 (illustrated in color, p. 86).
Memphis, The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Odilon Redon. The Ian Woodner Family Collection, April-June 1990, p. 31, no. 56 (illustrated, p. 82).
Melbourne, National Gallery of Victoria and Auckland City Art Gallery, The Enchanted Stone. The Graphic Worlds of Odilon Redon, July-December 1990, no. 35 (illustrated, p. 89; illustrated in color, p. 62).
Lausanne, Fondation de l'Hermitage and Paris, Musée Marmottan, Odilon Redon. La collection Woodner, May 1992-February 1993, no. 94 (illustrated, p. 178; illustrated in color, pl. 94).

Lot Essay

Odilon Redon's work reveals the life of the profound inner world: dreams, memories and spectral visions. Beginning in the 1870s, Redon worked on a series of charcoal drawings, termed noirs, which vividly explored such imaginary characters and haunting chimeras in monochromatic splendor. After recovering from a serious illness in 1895, he turned away from black and white and began working in color. He claimed "colors contain a joy which relaxes me; besides they sway me towards something different and new" (quoted in Odilon Redon: The Ian Woodner Family Collection, exh. cat., op. cit., 1990, p. 20).

In the present work, Redon suspends smokey spectral figures and floating apparitions against a gleaming background. Although visual delight is paramount in Redon's work, he was not simply satisfied with these optical effects and strove for art to transcend the surface. He was committed to revealing emotions and "in the 1890s and beyond, employing an expanded range of media and iconography, he remained faithful to his desire to create art that expresses the human soul" (D. Druick, Odilon Redon: Prince of Dreams, Chicago, 1994, p. 236).

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