Odilon Redon. Butterflies. c. 1910

Odilon Redon Butterflies c. 1910

  • Not on view

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.
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

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This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.

By 1937 - c. 1956, Georges Renand (1879-1968), Paris.
C. 1956 - 1964, Wildenstein & Co., Paris/New York, acquired from Georges Renand family.
1964, Mrs. (Margaret) Werner E. Josten, New York, acquired from Wildenstein & Co.
1964, The Museum of Modern Art, acquired as gift from Margaret Josten.

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