Bertrand-Jean 'Odilon' Redon

Bertrand-Jean 'Odilon' Redon
20.04.1840 (Bordeaux, France) - 16.07.1916 (Paris, France)

Nationality: French


Bertrand-Jean Redon, better known as Odilon Redon, was born in 1840 in Bordeaux and was a French Symbolist painter. The Symbolist movement is considered a descendant of Romanticism which came into being as a reaction against Realism in painting and literature, and against industrialisation in life. Symbolist artists preferred expressions based on emotion, intuition, and inner force, rather than intellect or objective observation. Redon is one of the first representatives of the Symbolist movement. He was influenced by Oriental art and studied the work of Rembrandt, among others, with his expressive effects of light and shadow, and Francisco de Goya, a great master of fantasy. Redon wanted his works to inspire, not to be defined. Therefore in his paintings, drawings and prints, which depict a mysterious realm, he creates a world of dreams and fantasy. He explores his internal feeling and psyche with amorphous, flowing and changing colours. Redon experienced popularity already while he was alive. In 1903 he was awarded the Legion d’Honneur, one of the highest decorations in France, and in 1913 he was given the largest single representation at the New York Armory Show.

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