Audio: Odilon Redon Lot 322
Odilon Redon (1840-1916)
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These lots have been imported from outside the EU … Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE SWISS COLLECTION
Odilon Redon (1840-1916)


Odilon Redon (1840-1916)
signed 'ODILON REDON' (lower left)
oil on canvas
25 1/2 x 19 5/8 in. (65 x 49.8 cm.)
Painted before November 1909
Prince Antoine Bibesco, Paris, by whom acquired directly from the artist in November 1909.
[Probably] Jos Hessel, Paris (no. 38).
Private collection, France.
Anonymous sale, Palais Galliéra, Paris, 16 June 1969, lot 113.
Wildenstein & Co., New York.
Urban Art Research, New York, by 1986.
Galerie Urban, Paris, by 1987.
Private collection, Japan, by 1991.
Acquired from the above; sale, Christie's, London, 18 June 2007, lot 30.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
O. Redon, Livre de Raison, no. 411.
F. A. Van Braam & A. B. Ter Haar Romeny, World Collectors' Annuary, 1969, vol. XXI, no. 4605.
J. Cassou, Odilon Redon, Milan, 1972, p. 66 (illustrated fig. 2, p. 67; dated 'circa 1910').
L. R. Webber, Japanese Woodblock Prints, The Reciprocal Influence between East and West, Provo, 1979, p. 85 (illustrated fig. 66).
A. Wildenstein, Odilon Redon: catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint et dessiné, vol. II, Mythes et légendes, Paris, 1994, no. 1326, p. 312 (illustrated p. 313).
Brussels, Galerie Georges Giroux, Odilon Redon, December 1920 - January 1921, no. 26.
Paris, Galerie E. Druet, Exposition d'oeuvres de Odilon Redon (1840-1916), Peintures, pastels, aquarelles, dessins, lithographies, eaux-fortes - art décoratif, June 1923, no. 31, p. 2.
New York, Wildenstein & Co., Winter Exhibition, December 1976 - January 1977.
Caracas, Museo de Bellas Artes, Cinco siglos de Arte Francés, May - June 1977, no. 66, p. 54 (illustrated).
Atlanta, The High Museum of Art, Art in Decoration, April - May 1978 (illustrated p. 29).
Paris, Galerie Urban, Urban Paris Part I, Utrillo, Bonnard [...] Redon, October 1988 - January 1989, no. 16 (illustrated on the cover).
Special notice
These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

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Antoine Lebouteiller
Antoine Lebouteiller

Lot Essay

Art, for Redon, was what poetry was for his friend Stéphane Mallarmé: 'the expression, through human language reduced to its essential rhythm, of the mysterious meaning of the various aspects of existence. In this way it authenticates our sojourn on this planet and constitutes our sole intellectual challenge' (Mallarmé to Léo d'Orfer, 1884). Influenced to a large extent by Mallarmé's symbolism, Redon creates pictures which 'do not define themselves; they place us, like music, in the ambiguous world of the indeterminate' (Redon, quoted in A. Wildenstein, Odilon Redon, Catalogue raisonné, vol. I, Paris, 1992, p. 145).

Before 1900 Redon made drawings almost exclusively in black and white; afterward he began to focus on paintings and pastels in sensuous colour. Many of his late works in colour took nature’s small beauties, such as butterflies, seashells, and flowers, as objects of contemplation and presented them with a fantastic intensity. Redon was a Symbolist; he believed that art could transcend the everyday and open onto a marvellous world of the mind. Around 1905 he spoke of the painter’s task as a privileged one: 'Painting consists in using a special sense, an innate sense for composing a beautiful substance. To do as nature does: create diamonds, gold, sapphires, agates, precious metal, silk, flesh: it is a gift of delicious sensuality.' (S. F. Eisenman, The Temptation of Saint Redon, Chicago, 1992).

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