Odilon Redon. Butterflies. c. 1910

Odilon Redon

Butterflies

c. 1910

Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
29 1/8 x 21 5/8" (73.9 x 54.9 cm)
Credit
Gift of Mrs. Werner E. Josten in memory of her husband
Object number
454.1964
Department
Painting and Sculpture
This work is not on view.
Odilon Redon has 166 works online.
There are 2,309 paintings online.

Before 1900 Redon made drawings almost exclusively in black and white; afterward he began to focus on paintings and pastels in sensuous color. Many of his late works in color 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 marvelous 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.”

Gallery label from 2011

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